Hypertriglyceridemia-Associated Pancreatitis: New Concepts and Potential Mechanisms

Signe E J Hansen, Anette Varbo, Børge G Nordestgaard, Anne Langsted

Abstract

Background: Triglycerides are a major source of energy, while high plasma triglycerides are a risk factor for various diseases and premature death. Severely elevated plasma triglycerides are a well-established cause of acute pancreatitis with high mortality, likely due to the presence of elevated levels of chylomicrons and large very low-density lipoproteins in plasma. As markedly elevated levels of these very large lipoproteins are not generally found in mild to moderate hypertriglyceridemia, this was previously not regarded as a cause or marker of increased risk of acute pancreatitis. However, mild to moderate hypertriglyceridemia may identify individuals who at a later timepoint develop severe hypertriglyceridemia and acute pancreatitis.

Content: We describe measurement of plasma triglycerides and studies on plasma triglycerides and risk of acute pancreatitis. Further, we summarize current European and American guidelines for the prevention of acute pancreatitis and, finally, the potential for future prevention of acute pancreatitis through lowering of plasma triglycerides.

Summary: Recent observational and genetic studies indicate that mild to moderate hypertriglyceridemia is causally related to increased risk of acute pancreatitis, most likely as a marker of future severe hypertriglyceridemia. Current guidelines do not mention individuals with mild to moderate hypertriglyceridemia, even though newer evidence suggests an unmet medical need. Treatment could include plasma triglyceride-lowering therapy targeting the pathway for lipoprotein lipase as the main triglyceride degrading enzyme in plasma. Angiopoietin-like 3 and apolipoproteinC-III are inhibitors of lipoprotein lipase, and blocking of these 2 inhibitors is showing promising results in relation to marked triglyceride-lowering and could perhaps be used to prevent acute pancreatitis in the future.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftClinical Chemistry
Vol/bind69
Udgave nummer10
Sider (fra-til)1132-1144
Antal sider13
ISSN0009-9147
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 3 okt. 2023

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