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Serum phospholipase A2 in intensive care patients with peritonitis, multiple injury, and necrotizing pancreatitis

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To study the source and role of circulating phospholipase A2 (PLA2) catalytic activity we monitored the serum from patients with necrotizing pancreatitis (n=8), diffuse peritonitis (n=6), and multiple injuries (n=11). Immunoreactive PLA2 serum protein concentration was analysed using a fluoroimmunoassay based on an antibody against human pancreatic PLA2. Serum PLA2 catalytic activity was analysed using a radiochemical method based on a substrate with tritiated palmitic acid in beta position. In necrotizing pancreatitis immunoreactive PLA2 and PLA2 catalytic activity both increased. Obviously, in necrotizing pancreatitis the major part of serum catalytic activity stems from the pancreas. In patients with diffuse peritonitis and multiple injuries, as a rule, immunoreactive phospholipase A2 serum concentration appears to be within the normal range. In contrast, in these patients we demonstrated high serum catalytic PLA2 activity comparable to that in necrotizing pancreatitis. The source of catalytic PLA2 activity in peritonitis and multiple injuries seems not to be the pancreas. There was a correlation between pulmonary insufficiency and serum PLA2 catalytic activity in patients with necrotizing pancreatitis, peritonitis, and multiple injuries.

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Büchler, M., Deller, A., Malfertheiner, P. et al. Serum phospholipase A2 in intensive care patients with peritonitis, multiple injury, and necrotizing pancreatitis. Klin Wochenschr 67, 217–221 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01711357

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Key words

  • Immunoreactive phospholipase A2
  • Serum catalytic phospholipase A2 activity
  • Necrotizing pancreatitis
  • Diffuse peritonitis
  • Multiple injuries