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What Causes Acute Pancreatitis?

Mar 28, 2017

What Causes Acute Pancreatitis?

In medical terminology, any condition with suffix ‘itis’ means inflammation or in other words characterized by swelling, redness, pain and heat. So pancreatitis is inflammation of the human organ called pancreas located behind the stomach. When the onset of the disease is sudden, it is called Acute Pancreatitis. Alcohol is one of the main causes of acute pancreatitis. Trypsin, a digestive enzyme, is produced by pancreas in a dormant form but alcohol abuse can result in trypsin to become active and may cause the condition. Sometimes gall stones which are formed in the gall bladder may make their approach out of gall bladder and block the ducts of the pancreas causing acute pancreatitis. Bacterial infections like Salmonellosis, Legionnaires' disease etc., could result in acute pancreatitis. Viral infections like hepatitis B or mumps may also cause it. Signs & Symptoms o Severe dull and steady pain in the center of the upper abdomen, below the breastbone (sternum); eating may exacerbate the pain o Nausea and vomiting o Anorexia o Diarrhea o Fever o Tachycardia (rapid heart rate) o Hypotension o Abdominal tenderness and distension with muscular guarding o Reduced or absent bowel sounds o Jaundice o Difficulty in breathing in some cases etc. Diagnostics After clinical diagnosis with the help of sign and symptoms, lab diagnosis is done by measuring serum amylase and lipase, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and electrolytes. Due to inflammation, C-reactive protein (CRP) value is altered. The serum lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) and bicarbonate, serum cholesterol and triglyceride, serum lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) and bicarbonate values are suitable indicators of pancreatitis. Management Management/treatment of acute pancreatitis is done by fluid resuscitation and antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics usually of the Imipenem class are used. Along with it, nutritional support is also necessary. Surgical intervention (open or minimally invasive) is required when an anatomic complication occurs. Latest Development In Treatment Of Acute Pancreatitis Currently there is no specific therapy for acute pancreatitis. Recently, a partnership between University of Liverpool and Cypralis has been granted £300K to develop new compounds to treat acute pancreatitis. Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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