Acute pancreatitis in pregnancy

World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Dec 7;15(45):5641-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.5641.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pancreatitis / diagnosis
  • Pancreatitis / pathology
  • Pancreatitis / physiopathology*
  • Pancreatitis / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / pathology
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Prognosis


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents