Acute Pancreatitis

Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is difficult to study in humans because the response to injury in humans is heterogeneous, development of SIRS is unpredictable and progression to vascular leak syndrome (VLS) is highly variable, suggesting multiple hidden variables between people.  Endothelial cell injury and VLS appear to link SIRS to multi-organ dysfunction syndrome, which is prolonged by gut leak syndrome (GLS).  In patients who develop severe acute pancreatitis (AP) the early patient serum is toxic to cultured endothelial cells, even when diluted.  In collaboration with Dr. Whitcomb’s group in the Department of Medicine we are determining the mechanism of endothelial cell and epithelial cell dysfunction caused by circulating factors in patients with SIRS and/or VLS associated with acute pancreatitis.