Mohamed M. Faris, MD, Nina Balanchivadze, MD, Robert Sherertz, MD, John Edmison, MD
Grand Strand Medical Center, Myrtle Beach, SC
Introduction: There have not been many case reports of acute pancreatitis causing aortic thrombi. In this vignette we illustrate this rare but noteworthy clinical scenario.
Case Description/Methods: A 44 year old homeless man with a history of chronic pancreatitis and alcoholism presented with acute, sharp, diffuse abdominal pain.
Vital signs were notable for hypotension and tachycardia. Abdominal examination revealed a diffusely tender abdomen with guarding and rigidity. Neurological examination revealed bilateral upper extremity weakness. White blood cell count, lipase, ESR, CRP, and D-dimer were all markedly elevated
A CT abdomen revealed acute pancreatitis with diffuse acute multiple thrombi in the aorta with hepatic, splenic, bowel, and bilateral renal infarcts. There was diffuse ascites of the abdomen and pelvis with bilateral pleural effusions. Cervical MRI revealed C4-C6 cord infarct with diffusely abnormal signal. Brain MRI revealed two acute ischemic infarcts in the right occipital lobe. CTA chest revealed multiple large exophytic thrombi in the descending aorta with no evidence of pulmonary embolism. Duplex ultrasound of all extremities and echocardiogram with contrast were non-revealing
Hypercoagulability studies revealed mildly decreased factor II, antithrombin III, and protein C levels.
Anticoagulation was started with IV heparin and later switched to a direct oral anticoagulant. Paracentesis revealed pancreatic ascites. The patient’s abdominal pain resolved and he was transferred to a higher tertiary care center where he was found to have a pancreatic duct leak requiring stenting.
Discussion: There are only a few reports in the literature of acute pancreatitis causing aortic thrombosis. The pathophysiology remains unclear. However, there are a few hypotheses. First, proteolytic enzymes released in the setting of acute pancreatitis cause direct injury to the aortic wall, resulting in a nidus for mural thrombus formation. Second, trypsin released during acute pancreatitis causes the activation of several thrombogenic factors such as platelets and fibrinogens. Lastly, hypovolemia caused by acute pancreatitis increases the risk of vascular stasis and vasospasm.
In conclusion, this is a rare case of acute pancreatitis complicated by multiple aortic thrombi and multi-organ infarcts in the setting of a mild coagulation disorder. The patient responded well to supportive measures for acute pancreatitis and direct oral anticoagulants thereafter.
Citation: Mohamed M. Faris, MD, Nina Balanchivadze, MD, Robert Sherertz, MD, John Edmison, MD. P0062 - ACUTE PANCREATITIS CAUSING MULTIPLE AORTIC THROMBI AND MULTI-ORGAN INFARCTS. Program No. P0062. ACG 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts. San Antonio, Texas: American College of Gastroenterology.