Case report: a fatal case of severe pancreatitis associated with rhabdomyolysis

Abstract

Background: Rhabdomyolysis is an uncommon presentation associated with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). Patients usually present late and asymptomatic, thus it carries poorer clinical outcome and higher mortality rate.

Case report: We report a case of SAP in a 42-year-old man who presented with persistent epigastric pain, elevated serum amylase, and characteristics of acute pancreatitis on the contrast-enhanced computed tomography of the abdomen. Investigations revealed persistent hyperkalemia and severely elevated creatinine kinase in the presence of acute kidney injury, which led to the uncommon possibility of diagnosing severe rhabdomyolysis. He suffered complications of intra-abdominal hypertension, feeding intolerance, severe ARDS and multi-organ failure. He succumbed to death after a month despite aggressive intensive care therapies and support.

Discussion: The actual pathophysiology of rhabdomyolysis in SAP is complex. It is postulated that acute inflammation of pancreas causes ATP-dependent proton pump dysfunctions leading to skeletal muscle cells injury and therefore, rhabdomyolysis.

Conclusion: Coexistence of rhabdomyolysis with SAP have higher risk for fatality, therefore, its presence allows early triage, early aggressive resuscitation and intensive care management.

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