Hypertriglyceridemia-Induced Pancreatitis: A Decade of Experience in a Community-Based Teaching Hospital.

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Journal Title

R I Med J (2013)

MeSH Headings

Adult, Female, Hospitals, Teaching, Humans, Hypertriglyceridemia, Hypoglycemic Agents, Insulin, Male, Middle Aged, Pancreatitis, Plasmapheresis, Retrospective Studies, Treatment Outcome, Triglycerides


INTRODUCTION: Hypertriglyceridemia is the third most common cause of acute pancreatitis. The current evidence on the management of hypertriglyceridemia-induced pancreatitis (HTGP) is mainly derived from case series. It has been suggested that insulin, and plasmapheresis have a role in the management of acute HTGP. We present a retrospective review of patients seen at a community-teaching hospital between 2005 and 2015.

RESULTS: Out of the 549 admissions for acute pancreatitis, fourteen patients met our inclusion criteria. The mean age of presentation was 39± 8 years and there was a predominance of men (57%). More than two-thirds of the patients were admitted to the intensive care unit. The majority of the patients were treated with insulin drip (n=8), and the rest by subcutaneous insulin (n=3) and insulin drip + plasmapheresis (n=3). In the insulin drip group we noted a gradual decrease of the admission serum triglycerides by 50.6 ±16.0 % at 24 hours, 65.9±16.9% at 48 hours, and then 85.2± 7.1% at discharge. Serum triglycerides decreased by 79.8% and 92.6%, at discharge in the subcutaneous insulin and insulin + plasmapheresis cohorts, respectively. The insulin + plasmapheresis cohort stayed in the hospital longer (20.7±3.1 days) compared to the insulin drip (10.3±5.4 days) and subcutaneous insulin (5.7 ± 1.2 days) cohorts.

CONCLUSION: Our study strengthens the evidence for using insulin (infusion or subcutaneous) with or without plasmapheresis in the treatment of hypertriglycerimia-induced pancreatitis.



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