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"Where did I put that tooth? "



Case of the Week 254

What's the most likely diagnosis?

  • 42 year-old male with abdominal pain

  1. Splenic infarcts
  2. Adrenal adenomas
  3. Cholecystitis
  4. Acute pancreatitis
  5. Hepatic metastasis



4. Acute pancreatitis



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Acute pancreatitis

General considerations

  • Acute inflammation of the pancreas
  • Most commonly caused by alcohol abuse and gallstones
  • For reasons not yet fully understood, there is a release of activated pancreatic enzymes into the pancreas and surrounding tissues which causes tissue destruction
  • The clinical course of pancreatitis can range from mild (70-80%) to severe (20-30%)
    • Most deaths from acute pancreatitis result from sepsis secondary to pancreatic necrosis and infection and multi-organ failure
  • Males more often affected than females; 3X more common in African Americans than Caucasians

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