What is the cause of acute pancreatitis

Acute inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)

If there is a suspicion of an acute one, the doctor will first palpate the abdomen. He or she also asks about risk factors such as alcohol consumption, the use of medication and evidence of gallstones, such as cramping upper abdominal pain (colic). The doctor usually also takes blood and does an ultrasound. If the suspicion of acute pancreatitis is confirmed, you will be referred to the hospital. An inflamed gallbladder, a heart attack, or a gastric rupture caused by an ulcer can cause symptoms similar to pancreatitis.

Among other things, the lipase content is determined in the blood sample. This is one that is formed in the and normally gets into the intestines. If there is significantly more lipase in the blood than normal, this indicates pancreatitis. Other blood values ​​may indicate biliary congestion.

In most cases, an ultrasound examination of the abdomen can tell whether gallstones are the cause. Even if it has changed, this is often already visible in the ultrasound.

Sometimes more research is needed. Bile ducts and gallstones can also be represented with a (). Or one is inserted through the esophagus into the duodenum (endoscopic ultrasound). This can help find stones in the bile duct, for example.

One is done to identify complications such as tissue death and assess its progress. In the case of pancreatitis caused by gallstones or associated with one of the bile ducts, an "endoscopic retrograde cholangiography" (ERC) may also be required. One is also pushed through the esophagus to the mouth of the bile duct in the duodenum. A contrast agent is then injected into the passage, which makes the stones visible on the X-ray. As part of the examination, the stones can also be removed using the endoscope. However, the ERC is associated with radiation exposure and can lead to various complications.