In vitro fertilization and hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis: Case report

Shrenika Reddy, Zahid Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few cases of hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis have been reported in women during a vitro fertilization treatment (IVF) cycle. Here, we describe a 41-year-old woman with primary infertility and a history of acute pancreatitis (of unknown etiology) who was started on high dose ethinyl estradiol to prepare for transfer of cryopreserved embryos. She subsequently presented with nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain to an emergency room and was found to have hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis. Her hospitalization involved a prolonged intensive care unit stay in which she underwent three sessions of plasmapheresis. Eventually, with discontinuation of ethinyl estrogen, aggressive intravenous fluid hydration, plasmapheresis, a low-fat diet, and gemfibrozil, she had resolution of severe hypertriglyceridemia and all symptoms related to acute pancreatitis. Our case highlights the possibility that ethinyl estradiol, a commonly used form of estrogen for endometrial preparation during IVF cycles, may cause severe hypertriglyceridemia and acute pancreatitis in certain predisposed individuals. Only seven cases of hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis during in vitro fertilization have been previously reported, and only one of these prior cases experienced pancreatitis during transfer of cryopreserved embryos like our patient. Our case, along with the few prior reported cases, demonstrate hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis can occur during IVF. Further work is needed to understand the effects of exogenous estrogen on lipids for women undergoing IVF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Embryo transfer
  • Estrogen
  • Ethinyl estrogen
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis
  • In vitro fertilization
  • IVF
  • Pancreatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'In vitro fertilization and hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis: Case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this