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(1/3000) Rational sequence of tests for pancreatic function.

Of 144 patients with suspected pancreatic disease in whom a 75Se-selenomethionine scan was performed, endoscopic retrograde pancreatography (ERP) was successful in 108 (75%). The final diagnosis is known in 100 patients and has been compared with scan and ERP findings. A normal scan reliably indicated a normal pancreas, but the scan was falsely abnormal in 30%. ERP distinguished between carcinoma and chronic pancreatitis in 84% of cases but was falsely normal in five patients with pancreatic disease. In extrahepatic biliary disease both tests tended to give falsely abnormal results. A sequence of tests to provide a rapid and reliable assessment of pancreatic function should be a radio-isotope scan, followed by ERP if the results of the scan are abnormal, and a Lundh test if the scan is abnormal but the findings on ERP are normal.  (+info)

(2/3000) Activation of alveolar macrophages in lung injury associated with experimental acute pancreatitis is mediated by the liver.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate (1) whether alveolar macrophages are activated as a consequence of acute pancreatitis (AP), (2) the implication of inflammatory factors released by these macrophages in the process of neutrophil migration into the lungs observed in lung injury induced by AP, and (3) the role of the liver in the activation of alveolar macrophages. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Acute lung injury is the extrapancreatic complication most frequently associated with death and complications in severe AP. Neutrophil infiltration into the lungs seems to be related to the release of systemic and local mediators. The liver and alveolar macrophages are sources of mediators that have been suggested to participate in the lung damage associated with AP. METHODS: Pancreatitis was induced in rats by intraductal administration of 5% sodium taurocholate. The inflammatory process in the lung and the activation of alveolar macrophages were investigated in animals with and without portocaval shunting 3 hours after AP induction. Alveolar macrophages were obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage. The generation of nitric oxide, leukotriene B4, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and MIP-2 by alveolar macrophages and the chemotactic activity of supernatants of cultured macrophages were evaluated. RESULTS: Pancreatitis was associated with increased infiltration of neutrophils into the lungs 3 hours after induction. This effect was prevented by the portocaval shunt. Alveolar macrophages obtained after induction of pancreatitis generated increased levels of nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and MIP-2, but not leukotriene B4. In addition, supernatants of these macrophages exhibited a chemotactic activity for neutrophils when instilled into the lungs of unmanipulated animals. All these effects were abolished when portocaval shunting was carried out before induction of pancreatitis. CONCLUSION: Lung damage induced by experimental AP is associated with alveolar macrophage activation. The liver mediates the alveolar macrophage activation in this experimental model.  (+info)

(3/3000) Underestimation of acute pancreatitis: patients with only a small increase in amylase/lipase levels can also have or develop severe acute pancreatitis.

BACKGROUND: In most treatment studies on acute pancreatitis, pancreatologists base their diagnosis on amylase/lipase levels more than three times above the upper limit of normal (>3n) and thus exclude patients with smaller enzyme level increases. The recommendations derived from the results of treatment studies do not take into account such patients. Non-pancreatologists frequently believe that only patients with high enzyme levels have a serious prognosis. AIMS: To question the assumption that high enzyme levels indicate severe, and conversely low enzyme levels indicate mild, acute pancreatitis. PATIENTS/METHODS: This retrospective study includes 284 consecutive patients with a first attack of acute pancreatitis. The cause was biliary in 114 (40%) patients, alcoholism in 83 (29%), other in 21 (7%), and unknown in 66 (23%). Patients were divided into two groups according to their serum enzyme levels (amylase: 3n, n = 196; lipase: 3n, n = 233). Renal impairment, indication for dialysis and artificial ventilation, development of pseudocysts, necessity for surgery, and mortality were taken as parameters of severity. RESULTS: The incidence of severity was the same for both the 3n groups. CONCLUSIONS: The severity of acute pancreatitis is independent of the elevation in serum amylase/lipase level (3n) on admission. Patients with only a slight increase can also have or develop severe acute pancreatitis. Patients with +info)

(4/3000) Phospholipase A2 mediates nitric oxide production by alveolar macrophages and acute lung injury in pancreatitis.

OBJECTIVE: Reportedly, nitric oxide (NO) derived from alveolar macrophages (AMs) and increased serum phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity are associated with the pathogenesis of lung injury in acute pancreatitis. The authors examined the possibility that PLA2 causes, in part, the induction of NO production by AMs in pancreatitis. METHODS: Pancreatitis was induced in rats by selective pancreatic duct ligation (SPL). AMs were stimulated with PLA2 or SPL rat serum, with or without administration of the PLA2 inhibitor quinacrine. Then NO production from the AMs was measured by the Griess method, inducible NO synthase mRNA expression of AMs was analyzed by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and cytotoxic effects of AMs on human umbilical vein endothelial cells was examined by a 51Cr release assay. In vivo, the effect of quinacrine on lung injury was determined by measuring the arterial blood oxygen pressure (PaO2), lung weight, and lung permeability using Evans blue dye concentration of SPL rat. RESULTS: In vitro, the serum with high PLA2 activity induced NO production by rat AMs. PLA2 (50 ng/ml) induced significant amounts of NO production, inducible NO synthase mRNA expression, and cytotoxicity toward the human umbilical vein endothelial cells in normal rat AMs, and these activities were significantly inhibited by quinacrine. In vivo, rats with pancreatitis that were given quinacrine showed decreased concentrations of NO2- and NO3- in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and the PaO2, lung edema, and lung permeability were improved significantly. CONCLUSION: PLA2 induces AMs to release NO, which contributes to lung injury in acute pancreatitis. This lung injury was prevented by the administration of the PLA2 inhibitor quinacrine.  (+info)

(5/3000) K-ras mutations in DNA extracted from the plasma of patients with pancreatic carcinoma: diagnostic utility and prognostic significance.

PURPOSE: Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of K-ras mutations in the plasma of patients with pancreatic carcinoma. However, the diagnostic utility and the prognostic significance of this finding have never been addressed. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty-four consecutive patients with histologically confirmed primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma were included. A control group of 37 patients with chronic pancreatitis, 10 patients with other tumors of the pancreatic area, nine patients with acute pancreatitis, and four healthy volunteers was also included. Plasma DNA was isolated and K-ras codon-12 mutations were analyzed by means of restriction fragment length polymorphism-polymerase chain reaction and single-strand conformation polymorphism techniques. Patients were followed up to establish their clinical outcome. RESULTS: The mutant-type K-ras gene was found in plasma DNA samples of 12 (27%) of 44 patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; this finding was related to the tumor stage (P = .05), mainly in the presence of distant metastases (P = .02). In addition, K-ras mutations were detected in the plasma DNA of two (5%) of 37 patients with chronic pancreatitis. In the subset of patients with pancreatic masses, the sensitivity and specificity of plasma K-ras analysis for pancreatic adenocarcinoma were 27% and 100%, respectively. Finally, pancreatic carcinoma patients with the mutant-type K-ras gene in plasma DNA exhibited a shorter survival time than patients with the wild-type gene (P<.005), and plasma K-ras mutations were identified as the only independent prognostic factor (odds ratio, 1.51; 95% confidence interval, 1.02 to 2.23). CONCLUSION: Plasma K-ras analysis is a highly specific, low-sensitivity approach that has diagnostic and prognostic clinical implications in patients with pancreatic carcinoma.  (+info)

(6/3000) Transforming growth factor-beta-induced upregulation of transforming growth factor-beta receptor expression in pancreatic regeneration.

The transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) signaling pathway is one important player in the regulation of extracellular matrix turnover and cell proliferation in epithelial regeneration. We used cerulein-induced pancreatitis in rats as a model to investigate the regulation of TGFbeta receptor type I and type II expression on protein and messenger RNA level during regeneration. In the regenerating pancreas, mRNA levels of TGFbeta receptor I and II were significantly increased with a maximum after 2 days. On protein level, expression of TGFbeta receptor II was significantly increased after three to 3-5 days. This elevated expression could be inhibited by neutralizing the endogenous biological activity of TGFbeta1 with a specific antibody. In cultured pancreatic epithelial cells, TGFbeta1 reduced cell proliferation as measured by [3H]thymidine incorporation. Furthermore the transcript levels of TGFbeta1 as well as mRNA and protein concentrations of type I and type II receptor increased during TGFbeta stimulation in vitro. These results indicate that epithelial pancreatic cells contribute to the enhanced TGFbeta1 synthesis during pancreatic regeneration by an autocrine mechanism. TGFbeta1, furthermore, upregulates the expression of its own receptors during the regenerative process, thereby contributing to the increase of the TGFbeta-induced cellular responses.  (+info)

(7/3000) The FHIT gene is expressed in pancreatic ductular cells and is altered in pancreatic cancers.

We examined 2 normal pancreata, 21 primary pancreatic ductal cancers, and 19 pancreatic cancer cell lines for Fhit expression and FHIT gene status. The normal pancreas expressed Fhit protein in the cytoplasm of ductular cells, whereas interlobular and larger ducts, acini, and insulae of Langerhans were negative. Fhit protein was detected by immunoblot assay in 11 pancreatic cancer cell lines; of the 8 cell lines lacking Fhit protein, 7 lacked FHIT mRNA and 1 showed an abnormally sized transcript. DNA from five of these eight cell lines showed homozygous loss of FHIT exon 5. In 8 of the 21 primary cancers, Fhit expression was detected by immunohistochemistry. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis of 6 of the 13 cases lacking Fhit showed normal-sized FHIT product in 3 cases and a mixture of normal and abnormal products in the other 3. Sequencing showed that abnormal bands were missing variable numbers of exons. Loss of microsatellite DNA markers internal to the FHIT gene was observed in 10 of 13 primary cancers lacking Fhit protein (homozygous in two cases) and in only 1 of the 8 cancers expressing Fhit protein. In nine primary cancers, four expressing and five lacking Fhit protein, it was possible to obtain pure cancer DNA by microdissection. Three of the five microdissected cases lacking Fhit protein exhibited homozygous deletion of FHIT exon 5. In conclusion, the lack of Fhit protein in pancreatic cancers correlated with absence or alteration of FHIT mRNA and was often associated with FHIT gene anomalies.  (+info)

(8/3000) Metastasis-induced acute pancreatitis in a patient with small cell carcinoma of the lung.

Acute pancreatitis in cancer patients can be secondary to the malignant process itself or a complication of antineoplastic agent administration. However, acute pancreatitis caused by metastatic carcinoma of the pancreas is an uncommon condition with a poor prognosis. We report a case of a 63-year-old man with small cell carcinoma of the lung, who developed acute pancreatitis lately. Thirteen months earlier, he developed small cell carcinoma of the lung and received 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Abdominal CT scan showed swelling of the pancreas with multiple masses. The patient was managed conservatively and pancreatitis subsided. This case indicates that metastasis induced acute pancreatitis can be a manifestation of lung cancer, especially in small cell carcinoma.  (+info)