Cause and Incidence of Pancreatic Ischemia

Some authors have described the various causes of pancreatic ischemia or infarct, such as periarteritis nodosa, malignant essential hypertension, embolism, and splenic or superior mesenteric arterial thrombosis [2]. Recently our investigations revealed pancreatic ischemia caused by disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and cholesterol emboli [5, 6]. McKay et al. suggested that cardiac failure with hypotension or shock can cause pancreatic ischemia [3]. The incidence of pancreatic ischemia is unclear. McKay described that pancreatic infarcts were found in only 0.19% of 21,481 consecutive necropsies at the Mayo Clinic [3]. Our study revealed that fresh ischemic lesions were found in 20% (7/35) of cases of DIC and in 12% (2/17) of cases of cholesterol emboli [5, 6].

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