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Flashcards in Pancreatic disorders Deck (47)
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The pancreas is an endocrine gland producing: 3

1. Insulin

2. Glucagon

3. somatostatin


Also functions as an exocrine gland secreting what?


It secretes approximately ____ liters of enzyme-rich fluid every day for the digestion of fats, starch, and protein.

digestive enzymes via a duct.




1. Secretin- released from the duodenal mucosa in response to what?

2. What does it stimulates? 2

1. the presence of acid in the duodenum.

2. stimulates the release of




1. Cholecystokinin (CCK)- released from SI endocrine cells in response to what?

2. acts directly and through vagal afferents to stimulate pancreatic acinar cells to release what?

1. the entry of fats and proteins into the proximal intestine.


2. digestive proenzymes.


Acute pancreatitis is an acute inflammatory process of the pancreas. Etiologies? 5

1. Mechanical

2. Toxic

3. Trauma

4. Metabolic

5. Infection


Acute Pancreatitis:

1. Gallstones are more common in who?

2. Alcohol are more common in who?

1. Gallstones more common cause in women

2. Alcohol more common cause in men


If 2nd attack and not one of main 2 causes then look for the less common causes such as? 6

1. hypercalcemia

2. hyperlipidemias

3. biliary sludge

4. drugs

5. cancer

6. missed stone in duct,


Acute onset clinical manifestations? 5

What can this progress to? 2

1. persistent, severe epigastric pain

2. or RUQ pain may be steady or colicky

3. N/ V

4. 50% experience band like radiation of pain to back;

5. some may get relief w/ bending forward or sitting up.



1. Dyspnea

2. Shock/Coma


Acute pancreatitis 5-10% of patients may have painless disease and have what?

Unexplained hypotension


Physical exam of acute pancreatitis? 5

1. Fever, tachycardia, (hypotension if severe)

2. Epigastric/RUQ tenderness

3. Shallow respirations- pain with deep breaths

4. Possible dyspnea if pleural effusion

5. Epigastric mass if pseudocyst or tumor.



In 3% of pts, ecchymotic discoloration may be observed in the periumbilical region (Cullen’s sign) or along the flank (Grey-Turner's sign).


1. ecchymotic discoloration may be observed in the periumbilical region. What sign is this?


2. Along the flank. What sign is this?

1. Cullen's sign

2. Grey-Turner's sign


Lab Tests for Acute Pancreatitis?


1. Serum Amylase

2. Serum Lipase

3. C reactive protein


Serum amylase

1. Rises how?

2. Elevated for how many days?

Serum Lipase

1. Describe sensitivity and specificity compare to amylase

2. Describe its elevation and how long it lasts?

3. If ____x nl think pancreatitis.

Serum amylase:

1. rises quickly (6 to 12 hrs)

2. elevated for 3-5 days


Serum lipase:

1. sensitivity 82-100%, more specific than amylase

2. elevations occur earlier and last longer

3. If 3-4x nl think pancreatitis.


C reactive protein levels

1. Levels at what and how long after presentation can predict a more severe course?


2. So what do we use this to differentiate?

C-reactive protein:

1. levels above 150 mg/dL at 48 hrs after pt presents can predict more severe course.

2. Used to differentiate severe from mild disease



Imaging for Pancreatitis?


Abdominal plain film



CT scan



1. What does abdominal plain film help us with on pancreatitis? 2

2. What percent of pts with pancreatitis have abnormal findings on CXR?

3. What are these? 3


-helps to exclude other causes of abdominal pain

-may have localized ileus 2ndry to inflammation

2. CXR: 1/3 of pts w/ pancreatitis have abnormal findings:


-Elevation of hemidiaphragm

-Pleural effusions            

-Pulmonary infiltrates


What is the most important test for diagnosis acute pancreatitis & intraabdominal complications and assessment of severity?

CT scan



1. What would the US show?



MRI for pancreatitis

1. Describe its sensitivty compared to CT?

2. Advantages? 3

1. Higher sensitivity for the diagnosis of early acute pancreatitis than CT scan.


-Lack of nephrotoxicity

-Ability of MRI to better detect fluid collections, necrosis, hemorrhage and pseudocyst

-MRCP better shows the pancreatic and bile ducts


What does this CT show?



Treatment of pancreatitis?


1. Admit to hospital with acute pancreatitis

2. NPO

3. IV hydration with crystalloids to keep UO>30ml/hr (lactated ringers except in hypercalcemia)

4. Pain control (morphine, fentanyl, ketorolac)

5. Ondansetron (zofran), or Promethazine (Phenergan) prn nausea

6. +/- antibiotics,

7. +/- surgery (cholecystectomy, necrosectomy- severe dz)



What labs would we do for Pancreatitis?



1. CBC,

2. lipase,

3. amylase,

4. CMP,

5. bilirubin,

6. C-reactive protein in 48 hrs,


Severe pancreatitis

1. Complications with what can develop? 4

2. Treatment? 3

1. Complications w/




-hepatobiliary dysfx can occur



-ICU monitoring and supplemental O2

-Prevent infection w/ broad spectrum antibiotics

-Nutrition preferably enteral- Tube feeding


Risk Factors for Disease Severity


1. Age > 55 yrs

2. Obesity—BMI > 30 kg/m2

3. Organ failure at admission

4. Pleural effusion or pulmonary infiltrate

5. Elevated C-reactive protein


What is Chronic Pancreatitis?


Progressive inflammatory changes result in permanent structural damage to the pancreas, leading to impairment of exocrine & endocrine function


Etiologies of chronic pancreatitis?


1. Alcohol abuse (75%)

2. Genetic: cystic fibrosis, hereditary pancreatitis

3. Ductal obstruction: trauma, pseudocysts, stones, tumors

4. Systemic: SLE, hypertriglyceridemia

5. idiopathic


Acute vs. Chronic

1. Acute is usually _________?

2. Reccurrent acute leads to what?

3. Symtpoms of chronic?

4. Serum Amylase and Lipase in Chronic?

1. Acute is usually nonprogressive

2. Recurrent episodes of acute lead to chronic over time


3. Chronic may be asymptomatic over long periods of time

4. Serum amylase and lipase concentrations tend to be normal in chronic



1. Cardinal feature of Chronic pancreatitis?

2. Other clinical manifestations of chronic pancreatitis? 3

1. Chronic abdominal pain—cardinal feature although 20% may have little to no pain


-Pancreatic insufficiency

-Fat malabsorption

-Pancreatic diabetes


Describe why the following happen:

1. Pancreatic insufficiency?

2. Fat malabsorption?

3. Pancreatic diabetes?

1. Pancreatic insufficiency—exocrine dysfunction cannot digest complex foods or absorb digestive breakdown products, wt. loss: 90% of pancreatic function has to be lost for this to occur

2. Fat malabsorption (steatorrhea)--lipolytic activity decreases faster then proteolysis: malabsorption of fat sol-uble vitamins (A, D, E, K)

3. Pancreatic diabetes —DM late in course of disease, seen pts w/ calcifying disease.


Chronic Pancreatitis

1. Why are amylase and lipase usually normal?

2. What is the diagnostic gold standard test?

3. What test is performed at specialized centers?

1. amylase and lipase usually normal because pancreas fibrotic resulting in decreased abundance of these enzymes within the pancreas

2. Steatorrhea: 72-hour quantitative fecal fat determination is the gold standard, excretion > 7g fat day; pts w/ steatorrhea usually > 10g q day


3. Direct pancreatic function tests: performed via specialized centers