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Drug induced acute pancreatitis: incidence and severity.
  1. P G Lankisch,
  2. M Dröge,
  3. F Gottesleben
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Municipal Hospital of Lüneburg, Germany.


    To determine the incidence and severity of drug induced acute pancreatitis, data from 45 German centres of gastroenterology were evaluated. Among 1613 patients treated for acute pancreatitis in 1993, drug induced acute pancreatitis was diagnosed in 22 patients (incidence 1.4%). Drugs held responsible were azathioprine, mesalazine/sulfasalazine, 2',3'-dideoxyinosine (ddI), oestrogens, frusemide, hydrochlorothiazide, and rifampicin. Pancreatic necrosis not exceeding 33% of the organ was found on ultrasonography or computed tomography, or both, in three patients (14%). Pancreatic pseudocysts did not occur. A decrease of arterial PO2 reflecting respiratory insufficiency, and an increase of serum creatinine, reflecting renal insufficiency as complications of acute pancreatitis were seen in two (9%) and four (18%) patients, respectively. Artificial ventilation was not needed, and dialysis was necessary in only one (5%) case. Two patients (9%) died of AIDS and tuberculosis, respectively; pancreatitis did not seem to have contributed materially to their death. In conclusion, drugs rarely cause acute pancreatitis, and drug induced acute pancreatitis usually runs a benign course.

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