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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Study of prevalence, severity, and etiological factors associated with acute pancreatitis in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus.

OBJECTIVES: Patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease can develop pancreatic gland inflammation from HIV infection and related causes, or from factors totally independent of it. The incidence and severity acute pancreatitis in patients with HIV diseases and the frequency of associated etiological factors have not been examined in any detail. The purpose of this study was to (a) determine the prevalence of acute pancreatitis, (b) evaluate severity of pancreatic gland inflammation, (c) identify commonly associated etiological factors with acute pancreatitis, and (d) examine the relationship between CD4 lymphocyte counts and serum pancreatic enzyme levels (amylase and lipase) in patients with HIV disease. METHODS: We examined the medical records of 321 patients with HIV disease seen at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore between July of 1993 to June of 1994. Data collected from these records included clinical, laboratory, and radiologic features of pancreatitis, staging of HIV disease, risk factors, CD4 lymphocyte counts, medications associated with the presence of opportunistic infections, Kaposi's sarcoma, and lymphoma. RESULTS: From 321 patients with HIV disease, 45 patients developed at least one episode of acute pancreatitis as defined by clinical and laboratory criteria during the 1-yr period. A statistically significant negative correlation was found between serum pancreatic enzyme level and the number of CD4 lymphocytes (r = -0.15, p < 0.05 for serum amylase; r = -0.2, p < 0.05 for serum lipase). Furthermore, patients with asymptomatic HIV infection or CD4 lymphocyte count >500 mm3 did not develop asymptomatic hyperamylasemia or acute pancreatitis. Furthermore, the presence of gallstones, active injection drug use, pentamidine therapy, Pneumocystis carinii, Mycobacterium avium intracellulare correlated significantly (p < 0.001) with the diagnosis of acute pancreatitis. CONCLUSIONS: A detailed review of medical records of patients with HIV disease seen in a community hospital in 1 yr (1993-1994) suggests a high incidence (14%) of mild to moderately severe acute pancreatitis. In this group of patients, pancreatic gland inflammation is commonly associated with gallstones, intravenous drug abuse, pentamidine intake, and Pneumocystis carinii and Mycobacterium avium intracellulare infections. In addition, marked reduction in CD4 lymphocyte count is associated with increase in serum pancreatic enzyme levels (amylase, lipase activity) suggesting pancreatic gland inflammation or altered pancreatic enzyme turnover.[1]


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