Clinical Significance of Pancreatic Ischemia

A large infarct can induce hemorrhagic pancreatitis, the most severe form of acute pancreatitis, characterized by extensive proteolytic destruction of pancreatic parenchyma, fat necrosis, and hemorrhages [2, 7, 8]. This disorder alone can be a life-threatening illness [7]. On the other hand, small ischemic changes can be healed, with little or no significant clinical disorders. Our previous study also suggested that life-threatening pancreatic disorders induced by cholesterol emboli are rare, although histological examination can detect patchy old lesions of pancreatic ischemia [6]. Therefore, the size of ischemic necrosis is correlated with the patient's clinical course. Whether pancreatic ischemia induces severe pancreatitis may be a significant prognostic factor. However, many experimental studies have indicated that there is marked variation in the sensitivity of individuals to reactions of pancreatic necrosis or pancreatitis [2].

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