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Necrotizing Pancreatitis Associated With Severe Preeclampsia

Swank, Morgan MD; Nageotte, Michael MD; Hatfield, Tamera MD, PhD

Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31824fc617
Case Reports
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Necrotizing pancreatitis is rare in pregnancy and usually is associated with symptomatic cholelithiasis. We present a case of fatal necrotizing pancreatitis in a patient with severe preeclampsia.

CASE: A 25-year old primigravid woman at 35 weeks of gestation presented with decreased fetal movement, pruritus, and malaise. Intrauterine fetal demise was diagnosed in the context of severe thrombocytopenia, hypertension, proteinuria, hemolysis, elevated transaminases, and renal failure. Postpartum, the patient developed metabolic acidosis, hyperglycemia, and hypoxemia followed by cardiopulmonary arrest and death. Autopsy revealed extensive acute pancreatic necrosis, pleural effusions, ascites, and fatty liver without evidence of microthrombi. The cause of death was acute necrotizing pancreatitis resulting from severe preeclampsia.

CONCLUSION: Severe preeclampsia may cause widespread end-organ damage and may affect the gastrointestinal system, resulting in fatal necrotizing pancreatitis.

In Brief

Severe preeclampsia may cause widespread end-organ damage and may affect the gastrointestinal system, resulting in fatal necrotizing pancreatitis.

Author Information

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California, Irvine, Orange, California; and the Memorial Care Center for Women, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Long Beach, California.

Corresponding author: Morgan Swank, MD, University of California, Irvine, Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology, 101 The City Drive, Suite 800, Building 56, ZOT 3200, Orange, CA 92868; e-mail: mswank@uci.edu.

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2012 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists