Objective: To determine whether (1) corticosteroids cause pancreatitis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); (2) SLE pancreatitis occurs in the setting of a generalized SLE flare; and (3) corticosteroids can be used to treat SLE pancreatitis.
Methods: A total of 8 patients over a 10 year period with pancreatitis and SLE were identified retrospectively from a hospital database at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.
Results: All 8 patients received therapeutic doses of corticosteroids as part of their treatment for SLE and pancreatitis. All patients manifested both clinical and biochemical resolution of their pancreatitis with the administration of corticosteroids. No patient in our study experienced immediate complications related to corticosteroids. Only 2 of the 8 patients manifested active concurrent systemic disease related to the SLE.
Conclusion: Corticosteroids do not cause pancreatitis in patients with SLE, and they should be administered during episodes of acute pancreatitis if clinically necessary. Pancreatitis does not tend to occur in the setting of a generalized SLE flare.