Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Pancreatitis Due to Hypertriglyceridemia in Italy: A Survey among Physicians of the Italian Association for the Study of the Pancreas: A Brief Report
The Italian Association for the Study of the Pancreas promoted a survey on exploring the point of view of Italian pancreatologists regarding the diagnosis and the treatment of acute pancreatitis (AP) due to hypertriglyceridemia (HAP). Method: A questionnaire was administered, and it contained four sections regarding epidemiological characteristics of the participants, how the participants arrived at a diagnosis of the disease, how they treated familial hypertriglyceridemia, and whether they
... of the new drugs developed for the treatment of this disease. Definition of AP and HAP: In this survey, all participants followed this definition of AP: The diagnosis of AP requires two of the following three features: abdominal pain consistent with acute pancreatitis (acute onset of a persistent and severe epigastric pain, often radiating to the back); serum pancreatic enzymes at least three times greater than the upper limit of normal; and characteristic findings of acute pancreatitis using imaging techniques. On the other hand, HAP is characterized by serum triglyceride concentration of >1000 mg/dL as the diagnostic cut-off, even though a value of >500 mg/dL has been used for a more inclusive definition, since moderately elevated triglyceride levels have also been suggested as a risk factor for AP. Results. Nine percent of all managed patients with AP had HAP; 5.0 ± 7.7 patients per year had a recurrence of HAP, and the number of recurrences was about one. A diagnosis of hypertriglyceridemia was made by the majority of Italian physicians due to the presence of elevated serum triglycerides at a level of ≥880 mg/dL. Twenty-five physicians treated their patients with fibrates, 23 with statins, 11 with omega-3, one with medium-chain triglycerides, and six with plasmapheresis. Finally, fewer than 50% of the physicians knew of the new drugs to treat dyslipidemia. Conclusions: The results of this survey show that an educational program is important, and we also need an Italian National Registry both for improving knowledge regarding this disease and for identifying the causal factors in our country.