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World J Gastroenterol. Dec 7, 2009; 15(45): 5641-5646
Published online Dec 7, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.5641
Acute pancreatitis in pregnancy
Capecomorin S Pitchumoni, Balaji Yegneswaran
Capecomorin S Pitchumoni, Drexel University College of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
Capecomorin S Pitchumoni, Department of Gastroenterology, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
Balaji Yegneswaran, Drexel University College of Medicine/Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
Author contributions: Pitchumoni CS was involved in designing the format of the review, interpretation of data from various papers, providing expert opinion and writing the paper while Yegneswaran B was involved in collecting the literature for the paper and writing the paper.
Correspondence to: Dr. Capecomorin S Pitchumoni, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, 254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States. pitchumoni@hotmail.com
Telephone: +1-732-7458600 Fax: +1-732-7452980
Received: August 28, 2009
Revised: October 13, 2009
Accepted: October 20, 2009
Published online: December 7, 2009

Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a rare event in pregnancy, occurring in approximately 3 in 10 000 pregnancies. The spectrum of AP in pregnancy ranges from mild pancreatitis to serious pancreatitis associated with necrosis, abscesses, pseudocysts and multiple organ dysfunction syndromes. Pregnancy related hematological and biochemical alterations influence the interpretation of diagnostic tests and assessment of severity of AP. As in any other disease associated with pregnancy, AP is associated with greater concerns as it deals with two lives rather than just one as in the non-pregnant population. The recent advances in clinical gastroenterology have improved the early diagnosis and effective management of biliary pancreatitis. Diagnostic studies such as endoscopic ultrasound, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and therapeutic modalities that include endoscopic sphincterotomy, biliary stenting, common bile duct stone extraction and laparoscopic cholecystectomy are major milestones in gastroenterology. When properly managed AP in pregnancy does not carry a dismal prognosis as in the past.

Keywords: Acute pancreatitis, Pregnancy, Pancreatitis in pregnancy