BACKGROUND--Serum triglyceride concentrations higher than 10 to 20 mmol/l are probably a risk factor for developing acute pancreatitis in humans. AIMS--To therefore analyse the influence of hyperlipaemia on the course of acute oedematous and acute necrotising pancreatitis in rats. SUBJECTS--Male Wistar rats were used in all experiments. METHODS--Six different groups of animals were used: two groups without pancreatitis (controls), two with acute oedematous pancreatitis, and two with acute necrotising pancreatitis. One group from each pair was treated with Triton WR 1339, which induces endogenous hyperlipaemia. Blood samples were taken from all subjects to measure triglyceride, cholesterol, amylase, and lipase. Pancreatic tissue samples were taken and the degree of pancreatic damage was judged microscopically. RESULTS--In the control groups no significant changes occurred, either in serum enzyme activities or in histology. The hyperlipaemic subgroup of animals with acute oedematous pancreatitis developed significantly higher (p < 0.001) serum amylase activities and a greater degree of histological damage (p < 0.01) than the animals of the non-hyperlipaemic acute oedematous pancreatitis group. In the animals with necrotising pancreatitis, serum lipase activity and the histological degree of pancreatic damage were significantly higher in the hyperlipaemic animals than in the non-hyperlipaemic animals. CONCLUSION--This study shows that hyperlipaemia intensifies the course of acute oedematous and acute necrotising pancreatitis in rats.
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