Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis

Posted by e-Medical PPT
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that can occur in two very different forms. Acute pancreatitis is sudden while chronic pancreatitis "is characterized by recurring or persistent abdominal pain with or without steatorrhea or diabetes mellitus.Severe upper abdominal pain, with radiation through to the back, is the hallmark of pancreatitis. Nausea and vomiting (emesis) are prominent symptoms.The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is the presence of gallstones that cause inflammation in the pancreas as they pass through the common bile duct.
Excessive alcohol use is the most common cause of chronic pancreatitis and can also be a contributing factor in acute pancreatitis.
Less common causes are
* hypertriglyceridemia
* hypercalcemia,
* viral infection (e.g. mumps),
* trauma (to the abdomen or elsewhere in the body) including post-ERCP
* vasculitis
* autoimmune pancreatitis.
* Pancreas divisum, a common congenital malformation of the pancreas
The diagnostic criteria for pancreatitis are "two of the following three features: abdominal pain characteristic of acute pancreatitis, serum amylase and/or lipase ≥3 times the upper limit of normal and characteristic findings of acute pancreatitis on CT scan.
Several scoring systems are used to help predict the severity of an attack of pancreatitis. The Apache II system has the advantage of being available at the time of admission as opposed to 48 hours later as is the case for the Glasgow criteria and Ranson criteria systems .

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