Objectives: Hypertriglyceridemia-induced acute pancreatitis (HTG-AP) accounts for 1 to 10% of pancreatitis cases, and is associated with a more severe clinical course. Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) is a potential treatment option for quickly lowering plasma triglycerides (TG). Current ASFA guidelines define HTG-AP as a Category III disorder, indicating the role of apheresis is not firmly established. Here, we examine clinical data regarding its effectiveness on morbidity and mortality in patients with HTG-AP presenting with severely elevated plasma triglycerides (>4000 mg/dl). Methods: We retrospectively examined clinical data and outcomes from 67 consecutive episodes of HTG-AP over a 5-year period in which either medical management alone or medical management plus adjunct TPE was employed to reduce plasma triglycerides. Results: 16/67 admissions involved TPE, initiated at a mean of 0.7 days from the time of presentation, while 51 received medical management alone. After only one TPE procedure, the mean TG values decreased from 4103 to 1045 mg/dl (a reduction of 74.7%), and those receiving TPE reached plasma TG < 1000 mg/dl 0.99 days faster than the medical group. One patient in the TPE group died. However, when excluding patients with hospital courses complicated by multiple organ dysfunction, there was no significant difference in mortality or hospital length of stay (LOS) between the groups. Conclusions: In uncomplicated cases of HTG-AP with an absence of multiorgan dysfunction, there is no significant benefit to either mortality or LOS when adding adjunct TPE to medical management, even when patients present with severely elevated levels of TG.
- acute pancreatitis
- hypertriglyceridemia-induced acute pancreatitis
- therapeutic plasma exchange
ASJC Scopus subject areas