Causes of Acute Pancreatitis

In this article, we will discuss various Causes of Acute Pancreatitis. So, let’s get started.

Acute pancreatitis is defined as an acute inflammation of the pancreas with variable involvement of regional tissues and remote organ systems. It results from premature activation of zymogen granules which activate and release pancreatic enzymes (proteases), vasoactive substances and toxic material that digest the pancreas and the surrounding tissues leading to local and systemic complications.


Common (90%)

  • Gall stones
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Idiopathic (microlithiasis)
  • Abdominal trauma (blunt)
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Post-ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)
  • Post-surgical (abdominal/extra-abdominal)

Uncommon (10%)

  • Infection e.g. viral (mumps, cytomegalovirus, coxsackie), bacterial (salmonella), fungal, and parasitic
  • Drugs e.g. azathioprine, thiazides, isoniazid, leflunomide, tamoxifen valproate, dapsone, pentamidine, didanosine, sitagliptin, etc.
  • Perforating peptic ulcer
  • End-stage kidney disease, peritoneal dialysis
  • Congenital anomaly (pancreatic divisum)
  • Pancreatic outflow obstruction
  • Severe hypothermia, shock, bites, etc.
  • Organ transplantation (kidney, liver), cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Vasculitis

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