Two days of nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Admits to drinking 2-3 ounces of alcohol per day.
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An oedematous pancreas is seen on the ultrasound and contrast-enhanced CT images along with fatty infiltration of the liver. The CT scan also shows stranding and a small amount of fluid surrounding the pancreas and between the liver and abdominal wall. Small bilateral pleural effusions were present as well.
This patient presents with typical clinical and laboratory findings of acute pancreatitis.
Elevated lab values included amylase = 434, lipase = 1849, MCV = 108, alkaline phosphatase = 149.
Her serum glucose and triglyceride levels were also elevated. Women develop complications from alcohol consumption at lower levels then men for a combination of reasons including smaller body weight and hormonal factors. Prolonged use of as little as 1-2 alcoholic drinks per day in women may result in health complications including alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver and pancreatitis. Ascites, pleural effusions (especially on the left), pseudocysts and necrosis are among the complications of acute pancreatitis.