Pancreatitis in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus - Case Series from a Tertiary Care Center in South India

Ruchika Goel1, Debashish Danda*, 1, John Mathew1, Ashok Chacko2
1 Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore-632004, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore-632004, Tamil Nadu, India

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© Goel et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore-632004, Tamil Nadu, India; Tel: 914162282529; Fax: 91-416-2232035; E-mails:,


Pancreatitis in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a rare, but life threatening complication. We aimed to study the characteristics and treatment outcome of SLE patients with acute pancreatitis in comparison with those with abdominal pain due to causes other than pancreatitis. Records of SLE patients admitted in our ward with pain abdomen between January 2008 and July 2010 were studied retrospectively. Of 551 SLE in-patients during the study period, 28 (5%) had abdominal pain and 11 (2%) of them were diagnosed to have acute pancreatitis. Five of the 11 patients had severe pancreatitis and 6 had mild pancreatitis. Seizures, arthritis and lack of prior use of steroids were significantly more common in patients with pancreatitis as compared to those with abdominal pain of non pancreatic origin. Seizure occurred more often in severe pancreatitis group as compared to mild pancreatitis. There was no difference in prevalence of lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibody (40%) between SLE patients with pancreatitis and those with other causes of abdominal pain. Conclusion: Association of pancreatitis in our cohort of SLE patients include withdrawal of maintenance dose of steroids, seizures and arthritis in univariate analysis. However there was no independent predictor of this complication in our study.

Keywords: Systemic lupus erythematosus, pancreatitis, abdominal pain..