Hypertriglyceridemia Induced Pancreatitis: plasmapheresis or conservative management?

S. Dichtwald*, A. Meyer, E. Zohar, N. Ifrach, G. Rotlevi, B. Fredman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: Hypertriglyceridemia-induced acute pancreatitis (HIAP) may result in severe morbidity and mortality. The most effective management strategy is unknown. While plasmapheresis is often performed, it is possible that a conservative approach which includes fasting, intravenous fluids and high-dose insulin, may be successful. Objectives: To compare the 28 day mortality and morbidity parameters among patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) due to HIAP when treated conservatively, as compared to patients who were treated with plasmapheresis. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was performed, including all patients at least 18 years of age who were admitted to the ICU between the years 2010 to 2020 with diagnosis of HIAP. Patients underwent plasmapheresis or were managed conservatively. Collected data included patient demographics, chronic illness and medications, hospital and ICU admission times, 28-day mortality, need for ventilation, number of ventilation days, need for inotropic support, daily triglyceride levels, APACHE II score, lactate on admission, need for dialysis, antibiotic treatment, surgical or percutaneous intervention. Results: The study included 29 patients. Twenty two patients were treated conservatively and 7 patients with plasmapheresis. There were no significant statistical differences between the groups regarding demographic parameters, chronic disease and medications. Furthermore, on ICU admission and during the subsequent 4 days APACHE score, serum lactate and triglyceride levels were similar between the groups. There was no significant difference in mortality. However, plasmapheresis was associated with greater morbidity (longer admission times, need for ventilation and number of ventilation days, need for inotropic support and dialysis, and invasive surgical intervention). Finally, when compared to conservative management, the rate of serum triglyceride decrease was not improved following plasmapheresis. Conclusion: Efficacy of conservative treatment in lowering the serum triglyceride level in HIAP is similar to plasmapheresis. Due to the small patient cohort further prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1174-1178
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • conservative treatment
  • hypertriglyceridemia
  • insulin
  • pancreatitis
  • plasmapheresis


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