Author(s): Pezzilli R, Barakat B, Billi P, Bertaccini B
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Abstract It has been reported that electrocardiographic abnormalities may be associated with acute pancreatitis. However, the data are lacking or sketchy. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and type of electrocardiographic abnormalities present in patients with acute pancreatitis. Fifty-six consecutive patients with acute pancreatitis and without previous history of heart disease were studied. Eleven patients had arterial hypertension. Forty-one patients had mild pancreatitis and 15 had the severe form of the disease. On admission, all patients underwent a standard 12-leads electrocardiogram and a serum electrolyte determination. Nineteen healthy subjects were also studied as controls. Twenty-seven patients (48.2\%) (10 with severe pancreatitis and 17 with mild pancreatitis) had a normal electrocardiogram. In the remaining 29 patients (51.8\%), one patient with severe pancreatitis had atrial extrasystoles and eight had bradycardia (less than 60 beats/minute) (two with severe pancreatitis and six with mild pancreatitis); 14 patients had changes of the T-wave and/or the ST-segment (two with severe pancreatitis and 12 with mild pancreatitis); seven patients showed disturbances of the intraventricular conduction (one with severe pancreatitis and six with mild pancreatitis): four had left anterior hemiblock, two had complete left bundle branch block and one had left anterior hemiblock and incomplete right bundle branch block; one patient with mild pancreatitis had atrioventricular block (first degree). No differences in heart rate, RR interval, PR interval and QT interval were found when patients with acute pancreatitis were compared with healthy subjects, nor when patients with severe pancreatitis were compared with those having the mild form of the disease. Seventeen of the 29 patients with electrocardiographic abnormalities (52.6\%) also had serum electrolyte alterations. More than 50\% of the patients with acute pancreatitis had electrocardiographic abnormalities and electrolyte alterations were also present in about one-half of these.
This article was published in Eur J Emerg Med
and referenced in Pancreatic Disorders & Therapy