Thirty-eight cases of acute pancreatitis in pregnancy: A 6-year single center retrospective analysis


Thirty-eight pregnant inpatients with acute pancreatitis (AP) were retrospectively reviewed from 2006 to 2012 in our hospital. The incidence of pregnancy-associated AP was 2.27‰. Most (78.95%) of the attack occurred in the third trimester. The median of APACHE II score was 6 and severe AP accounted for 31.58% (12 cases). Primary diseases were absent in most cases (57.89%). The most common clinical presentations were abdominal pain (89.47%) and vomiting (68.42%). Pleural effusion and ascites were found only in the third trimester. Elevated white blood cell count, amylase and lipase were commonly found in biochemical examinations. Eleven cases required intensive care in ICU and 21 cases received caesarean section. There were 2 maternal deaths and 12 fetal losses including 4 abortions. It is concluded that AP is a rare entity in pregnancy. The incidence of pancreatitis increases with the gestational age. However, the severity is not necessarily related with the pregnancy trimesters. The diagnosis is based on clinical presentations, laboratory tests and imaging examinations. Although the treatment strategy of a pregnant woman with pancreatitis is similar to the general non-pregnant patient with AP, a multidisciplinary team consisting of gastroenterologist, gastrointestinal surgeon, radiologist, obstetrician, and ICU doctor should be set up.

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Correspondence to Li Yan 严 丽.

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Zhang, D., Huang, Y., Yan, L. et al. Thirty-eight cases of acute pancreatitis in pregnancy: A 6-year single center retrospective analysis. J. Huazhong Univ. Sci. Technol. [Med. Sci.] 33, 361–367 (2013) doi:10.1007/s11596-013-1125-8

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Key words

  • acute pancreatitis
  • pregnancy
  • clinical characteristics
  • fetal outcomes