Chronic Pancreatitis Associated Acute Respiratory Failure.

Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences
MOJ Immunol 2017 8;5(2). Epub 2017 Feb 8.

Department of Medicine and Section of Pulmonary Diseases, Tulane Eosinophilic Disorder Center, Tulane University School of Medicine, USA.

Pancreatitis is a condition characterized by parenchymal inflammation of the pancreas, which is often associated with lung injury due to low level of oxygen and the condition is termed as acute pancreatitis-associated lung injury (APALI).

Clinical reports indicated that ~ 20% to 50% of patients from low oxygen levels in blood with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is a severe form of acute lung injury (ALI), a pulmonary disease with impaired airflow making patients difficult to breathe. ALI is frequently observed in patients with severe acute pancreatitis. Approximately one third of severe pancreatitis patients develop acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome that account for 60% of all deaths within the first week. The major causes of ALI and ARDS are sepsis, trauma, aspiration, multiple blood transfusion, and most importantly acute pancreatitis. The molecular mechanisms of ALI and ARDS are still not well explored, but available reports indicate the involvement of several pro-inflammatory mediators including cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6) and chemokines [like interleukin-8 (IL-8) and macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF)], as well as macrophage polarization regulating the migration and pulmonary infiltration of neutrophils into the pulmonary interstitial tissue, causing injury to the pulmonary parenchyma. Acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome in acute pancreatitis remains an unsolved issue and needs more research and resources to develop effective treatments and therapies. However, recent efforts have tested several molecules in an experimental model and showed promising results as a treatment option. The current review summarized the mechanism that is operational in pancreatitis-associated acute respiratory failure and respiratory distress syndrome in patients and current treatment options.

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