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Corticosteroid associated lupus pancreatitis

Semra Demirli Atıcı Ömer Engin Göksever Akpınar Cem Tuğmen About the authors


The relationship between acute pancreatitis and the administration of glucocorticoids is unclear because most reported cases have been diagnosed with systemic vascular diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, which may be responsible for pancreatitis.

A 22-year-old woman with eye involvement of a newly diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus was admitted to our hospital. Pulse intravenous methylprednisolone therapy was given at 1mg/kg day for 3 days, and oral prednisolone at 40 mg/day thereafter. During pulse steroid therapy, she had abdominal pain, back pain, distention, nausea, and vomiting. Her physical examination was compatible with acute abdomen and peritonitis. Abdomen Computerized Tomography scan revealed diffuse liquid perihepatic and perisplenic area with heterogeneity around the mesentery. Due to the symptoms of acute abdomen, explorative laparotomy was performed. There was diffuse free fluid in the abdomen and edematous changes were observed around the pancreas. Amylase and lipase from intraabdominal fluid were studied and found to be high. The postoperative prednol dose was reduced carefully. On the sixth postoperative day, the drain was removed, and the patient was discharged without any problem.

Physicians should keep in mind that acute pancreatitis may also be a cause of differential diagnosis of newly developed abdominal pain in patients receiving pulse steroid therapy with a normal level of serum amylase and lipase.

Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic; Pancreatitis; Pulse Therapy, Drug; Steroids

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