Korean J Med.  2018 Dec;93(6):518-524. 10.3904/kjm.2018.93.6.518.

An Update on Hypertriglyceridemia-Induced Acute Pancreatitis

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea. hjkimjung@hotmail.com


Hypertriglyceridemia a major cause of acute pancreatitis, accounting for up to 10% of all cases. The pathophysiological mechanism of hypertriglyceridemia-induced acute pancreatitis (HTGP) is presumed to involve the hydrolysis of triglycerides by pancreatic lipase resulting in an excess of free fatty acids and elevated chylomicrons, which are thought to increase plasma viscosity and induce ischemia and inflammation in pancreatic tissue. Although the clinical course of HTGP is similar to other forms of acute pancreatitis, the clinical severity and associated complications are significantly higher in patients with HTGP. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis is essential for treatment and prevention of disease recurrence. At present, there are no approved guidelines for the management of HTGP. Different treatment modalities such as apheresis/plasmapheresis, insulin, heparin, fibric acids, and omega-3 fatty acids have been successfully implemented to reduce serum triglycerides. Following acute phase management, lifestyle modifications including dietary adjustments and drug therapy are important for the long-term management of HTGP and the prevention of relapse. Additional studies are required to produce generalized and efficient treatment guidelines for HTGP.


Hypertriglyceridemia; Acute pancreatitis
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