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.