We describe a patient with alcohol-induced pancreatitis who developed severe life-threatening hypophosphatemia of multifactorial origin during hospitalization.
Decreased phosphate levels along with urine phosphate wasting were already noticed on the patient's admission due to underlying chronic alcoholism. However, a further deterioration of hypophosphatemia appeared on the second day of hospitalization presumably resulting from an increased transfer of phosphate from extracellular to intracellular fluid.
Phosphate deficiency is often overlooked in patients with acute pancreatitis. Our case emphasizes that serum phosphate levels should be checked along with serum calcium levels in patients with acute pancreatitis, especially in alcoholic patients.