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Plasmapheresis in hypertriglyceridemia-related pancreatitis: a case report

Andrea Tampieri, Patrizia Cenni, Claudia Morselli, Tiziano Lenzi
  • Patrizia Cenni
    Emergency Department, S.M. Scaletta Hospital, Bologna,
  • Claudia Morselli
    Emergency Department, S.M. Scaletta Hospital, Bologna,
  • Tiziano Lenzi
    Emergency Department, S.M. Scaletta Hospital, Bologna,


Hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) is the third most common cause of acute pancreatitis (AP), accounting for up to 7% of cases. The clinical manifestations are similar to those of AP from other causes, but it may be difficult to recognize because of confounding laboratory investigations induced by HTG, such as a falsely normal serum amylase. Prompt recognition is important to provide adequate treatment. The maintenance of blood triglyceride (TG) levels below 500 mg/dl has been shown to accelerate the clinical improvement in patients with hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis (HTGP). In many cases series apheresis was effective in reducing HTG and an early initiation is likely to be beneficial in order to prevent recurrence of AP and the development of necrotizing pancreatitis. Definitive guidelines for the treatment of HTGP and randomized trials that compare the effectiveness of apheresis with the medical therapy alone are still lacking.


Hypertriglyceridemia; pancreatitis

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Submitted: 2013-02-11 12:25:18
Published: 2012-07-19 00:00:00
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