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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2011 Dec;159(2):261-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2011.07.037. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

Acute pancreatitis in pregnancy: an overview.

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3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hippokration General Hospital, Aristotle University Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Acute pancreatitis is rare in pregnancy but it is associated with increased incidence of maternal and fetal mortality. It should be considered in the differential diagnosis of upper quadrant abdominal pain with or without nausea and vomiting. The commonest identified causes of acute pancreatitis in pregnancy are gallstones, alcohol and hypertriglyceridemia. The main laboratory finding is increased amylase activity. Appropriate investigations include ultrasound of the right upper quadrant and measurement of serum triglycerides and ionized calcium. Management of gallstone pancreatitis is controversial, although laparoscopic cholecystectomy and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) are often used and may be associated with lower complication rates. In hypertriglyceridemia-induced acute pancreatitis ω-3 fatty acids and even therapeutic plasma exchange can be used. We also discuss preventive measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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