Intravenous insulin versus conservative management in hypertriglyceridemia-associated acute pancreatitis

Sandeep Dhindsa, Anjul Sharma, Ali Al-Khazaali, Sujata Sitaula, Soumya Nadella, Alexis McKee, Stewart Albert, Raymond Bourey, Paresh Dandona

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23 Scopus citations


Context and Objective: Hypertriglyceridemia is implicated in ~5% of cases of acute pancreatitis. It is assumed that intravenous insulin is effective in lowering triglyceride (TG) concentrations in hypertriglyceridemia-associated acute pancreatitis (HAAP). However, the efficacy of intravenous insulin versus conservative management alone is not known. Design and Setting: Charts of 106 patients who were admitted with HAAP and had TG concentrations >1000 mg/dL at admission were reviewed. Patients who received intravenous insulin for at least 8 hours were included in the intravenous insulin group, while the rest were considered to have received conservative management. We compared the change in TG concentrations from baseline in the 2 groups. Results: Fifty-one patients received intravenous insulin while 55 patients were managed conservatively. Baseline TG concentrations were higher in the intravenous insulin group (median [25th, 75th percentile] 3307 [2106, 4425] mg/dL vs 2304 [1416, 2720] mg/dL; P < 0.001). The TG concentrations declined rapidly in both groups, reaching below 1000 mg/dL by day 3 and < 500 mg/dL by day 4. TG concentrations in the intravenous insulin group had decreased by 69% and 85% on days 2 and 4, respectively. The fall in the conservative management group was 63% and 79%, which was not statistically different than the change in the intravenous insulin group. Conclusion: Our results show that intravenous insulin did not result in a more rapid fall in TG compared with conservative treatment in patients with HAAP. Fasting and intravenous fluids were effective in lowering TG concentrations rapidly, with no further contribution from insulin.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbvz019
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Insulin
  • Intravenous
  • Pancreatitis


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