Does acute pancreatitis cause hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels)?

Updated: Dec 19, 2019
  • Author: Mary Ellen T Sweeney, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Acute pancreatitis may cause substantial elevations in triglycerides by unknown mechanisms. However, much more frequently, severe hypertriglyceridemia causes acute pancreatitis. In patients presenting with acute pancreatitis and triglycerides greater than 1000 mg/dL, it is prudent to not assume that the triglycerides are the cause of the pancreatitis. Other causes, such as common bile duct obstruction and alcoholism, must be considered as possible etiologies.

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