The pancreas located behind the stomach is responsible for the production of enzymes and hormones such as insulin and glucagon. The enzymes aid in the digestion of food and converting it into fuel required for the body’s cells. More specifically, the exocrine function aids digestion and the endocrine function aids in the regulation of blood sugar.
Usually the enzymes that are produced are activated in the small intestine. But when the enzymes start getting active in the pancreas itself, they digest the tissue of the pancreas. This leads to hemorrhage and swelling and damages the organ and its blood vessels. This causes acute pancreatitis. There is a sudden inflammation and swelling of the pancreas.
Physical exam reveals abdominal tenderness, rapid heart rate and respiratory rate, fever and low blood pressure.
Lab test and blood tests :Lab tests for release of pancreatic enzymes will reveal increase in amylase levels, serum blood lipase levels and urine amylase levels. Blood tests such as CBC and comprehensive metabolic panel are done to detect pancreatitis.
CT scan: An abdominal CT scan produces cross-sectional images of the abdomen with the help of x-rays.
MRI scan :Several image slices of the belly are put together with a technology that uses magnets and radio waves.
Abdominal Ultrasound produces images of the internal organs and structures using sound waves.
Depending on the severity of the inflammation a variety of treatments are available which include endoscopic, laparoscopic and open surgical techniques. ICU treatment may also be needed at times. Multiple Scans may also be necessary during the treatment of this condition.