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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 73

of 'Etiology of acute pancreatitis'

Susceptibility of the pancreas to ischemic injury in shock.
Warshaw AL, O'Hara PJ
Ann Surg. 1978;188(2):197.
The pancreas, like the kidney, is highly vulnerable to ischemic necrosis. This form of pancreatic injury may express itself as prolonged hyperamylasemia with only minimal signs or symptoms of inflammation, or may produce severe pancreatitis followed by abscesses and death. Autopsy examination of patients dying after oligemic shock showed a 9% incidence of major pancreatic injury if there was not concomitant acute renal tubular necrosis (ATN), but a 50% incidence in those with ATN. Similarly, among patients dying after non-oligemic shock, 12% of those without ATN had major pancreatic injury but 35% with ATN also had pancreatic ischemic injury. Among 13 selected patients examined prospectively after being in shock, pancreatic injury was indicated by hyperamylasemia, hyperlipasemia, elevated amylase/creatinine clearance ratio, and elevated circulating isoamylases specifically of pancreatic origin. Four of the 13 had clinical manifestations of pancreatitis. Not only must shock be added to this list of causes of pancreatitis, but pancreatic ischemia due to hypoperfusion may also be the critical factor which causes the progression from edema to necrosis in other forms of pancreatitis, including those associated with alcohol and biliary disease.