Eliminating COVID-19 as the immediate culprit for igniting pancreatitis

J Med Virol. 2023 Dec;95(12):e29272. doi: 10.1002/jmv.29272.


The impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection on the potential development of pancreatitis is a subject of ongoing debate within academic discourse. Establishing a causal link between COVID-19 and pancreatitis may not be fully supported by relying only on retrospective studies or case reports. This study examined the relationship between COVID-19 phenotypes and pancreatitis by Mendelian randomization (MR) method. The identification of instrumental variables (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that exhibit a robust association with the COVID-19 phenotypes was accomplished through a meticulous process of rigorous screening procedures. We included acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis (CP) as the outcomes in the MR analysis, even though no definitive studies exist between COVID-19 and CP. A direct causal relationship between genetically predicted COVID-19 phenotypes and pancreatitis risk cannot be established. There is an ongoing debate over the designation of COVID-19 as a definitive cause of pancreatitis.

Keywords: COVID-19; Mendelian randomization; genetic variation; pancreatitis; risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Mendelian Randomization Analysis
  • Pancreatitis*
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Retrospective Studies