Prevention and Management of Hypertriglyceridemia-Induced Acute Pancreatitis During Pregnancy: A Systematic Review

Published:January 23, 2022DOI:


      Severe gestational hypertriglyceridemia can lead to acute pancreatitis, with maternal mortality rate of approximately 20%. The recent National Lipid Association part 2 expert panel recommendations provide guidance on monitoring pregnant women at high risk for hyperlipidemia. We suggest that high-risk women have triglyceride levels checked once every trimester. Fasting triglycerides >250 mg/dL should prompt monthly triglyceride levels, screening for gestational diabetes, and implementing a strict low-carbohydrate, low-fat diet, exercise. Fasting triglycerides >500 mg/dL, despite a strict dietary and lifestyle modifications, should prompt treatment with omega-3-fatty acids and continue a fat-restricted diet (<20 g total fat/d or <15% total calories) under the guidance of a registered dietician. The use of fibrates should be considered as a second-line therapy due to their unclear risk versus benefit and potential teratogenic effects. Plasmapheresis should be considered early in asymptomatic pregnant women with fasting triglyceride levels >1000 mg/dL or in pregnant women with clinical signs and symptoms of pancreatitis and triglyceride levels >500 mg/dL despite maximal lifestyle changes and pharmacologic therapy.


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