Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
 Open access journal indexed with Index Medicus & ISI's SCI  
Users online: 7675  
Home | Subscribe | Feedback | Login 
About Latest Articles Back-Issues Articlesmenu-bullet Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe Etcetera Contact
 ::  Similar in PUBMED
 ::  Search Pubmed for
 ::  Search in Google Scholar for
 ::  Article in PDF (541 KB)
 ::  Citation Manager
 ::  Access Statistics
 ::  Reader Comments
 ::  Email Alert *
 ::  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free) 

  IN THIS Article
 ::  References
 ::  Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded13    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal


  Table of Contents     
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 154-155

Complicated acute pancreatitis: The worst-case scenario

Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Government Medical College, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Date of Web Publication14-Jun-2012

Correspondence Address:
R Subhash
Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Government Medical College, Trivandrum, Kerala
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.97182

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Subhash R, Iyoob V A, Bonny N. Complicated acute pancreatitis: The worst-case scenario. J Postgrad Med 2012;58:154-5

How to cite this URL:
Subhash R, Iyoob V A, Bonny N. Complicated acute pancreatitis: The worst-case scenario. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Oct 5];58:154-5. Available from:

Pseudoaneurysms can arise as a complication of both acute and chronic pancreatitis. They are mainly described in peripancreatic arteries like splenic artery and gastroduodenal artery. However, pseudoaneurysm of the abdominal aorta secondary to acute pancreatitis is extremely rare with only very few cases reported so far in the literature. [1],[2],[3][,4] Here we discuss a case of infrarenal abdominal aortic pseudoaneurysm associated with acute alcoholic pancreatitis.

A 51-year-old male patient with history of chronic alcoholism was referred from a peripheral hospital with features of acute severe pancreatitis. Patient was managed conservatively, and he responded well to the treatment. He was discharged after three weeks of inpatient care. After three months the patient was readmitted with severe abdominal pain. On examination, he had abdominal tenderness with few intraparietal abscesses in the anterior abdominal wall and over the flanks. A contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) of the abdomen revealed multiple small collections of fluid in the retroperitoneum, communicating with the abdominal wall abscesses through tissue planes. Ultrasonography (USG)-guided incision and drainage of abdominal wall abscesses extruded pus, which was sent for microbiological examination. Antibiotics were started accordingly, and patient showed a good response. He was discharged after a week with the advice of close follow-up. Patient was then lost to follow-up for one year, when he again presented with intractable back pain with mild abdominal discomfort. Examination of the abdomen showed evidence of healed abdominal wall fistulas with a pulsatile swelling in the umbilical region. Initial ultrasonogram of the abdomen and subsequent CECT with CT angiogram revealed a huge pseudoaneurysm of the infrarenal aorta with few retroperitoneal fluid collections [Figure 1],[Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. The patient was immediately transferred to the vascular surgery department, where while planning for extra-anatomic bypass graft repair, he developed massive hematemesis (probably due to aortoenteric fistula) and died the next day.
Figure 1: CECT scan (axial section) showing infrarenal aortic pseudoaneurysm

Click here to view
Figure 2: CECT scan (axial section) demonstrating aortic pseudoaneurysm and healed pancreatic fistula (arrow)

Click here to view
Figure 3: CECT scan (Reconstructed 3D image) showing dimensions of aortic pseudoaneurysm

Click here to view

Bleeding from pseudoaneurysm is a serious and life-threatening complication of pancreatitis. Pseudoaneurysms occur in 3.5-10% cases of pancreatitis. The majority of them arise in the splenic artery (42%) followed by the gastroduodenal artery (22%) and small pancreatic branches of these vessels. [2] The condition manifests when there are rupture or pressure symptoms of pseudoaneurysm. Symptoms depend upon the site and severity of bleeding. Generally, pseudoaneurysms present as upper abdominal pain, melena, hematemesis, jaundice and anemia. Diagnosis requires thorough medical history and physical examination with a high index of suspicion. Confirmation is done with a good-quality CECT with CT angiogram of the abdomen which can demonstrate the pancreatic pathology along with pseudoaneurysm. Visceral angiography may also be required especially when intervention is planned. The ideal treatment of peripancreatic pseudoaneurysm is selective transarterial embolization. However, there is no consensus in the management of abdominal aortic pseudoaneurysm associated with pancreatitis because of its rarity. There are different modalities described in the available literature, like open surgery and repair with prosthetic graft or cryopreserved allograft, [3] extra-anatomic bypass grafting and endovascular exclusion of pseudoaneurysm. [4] Acute hemorrhage from pseudoaneurysm is potentially life-threatening with mortality ranging from 12-50% even with aggressive treatment.

 :: References Top

1.Giles RA, Pevec WC. Aortic pseudoaneurysm secondary to pancreatitis. J Vasc Surg 2000;31:1056-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Boudghene F, L'HerminéC, Bigot JM. Arterial complications of pancreatitis: Diagnostic and therapeutic aspects in 104 cases. J Vasc Interv Radiol 1993;4:551-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Knosalla C, Bauer M, Weng Y, Weidemann H, Hetzer R. Complicated chronic pancreatitis causing mycotic aortic aneurysm: In situ replacement with a cryopreserved aortic allograft. J Vasc Surg 2000;32:1034-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Hinchliffe RJ, Yung M, Hopkinson BR. Endovascular exclusion of a ruptured pseudoaneurysm of the infrarenal abdominal aorta secondary to pancreatitis. J Endovasc Ther 2002;9:590-2.  Back to cited text no. 4


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

This article has been cited by
1 Endovascular management in aortic pseudoaneurysms caused by acute pancreatitis
Srinivasan, S. and Babu, S.
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine. 2012; 58(4): 328


Print this article  Email this article
Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow