Newcastle Hospitals’ clinicians have led an international study to investigate the link between Covid-19 and acute pancreatitis.
Dr Manu Nayar, consultant gastroenterologist, and Dr Sanjay Pandanaboyana, transplant surgeon, initiated the study when they noticed a pattern between patients presenting at hospital with Covid-19 and acute pancreatitis.
Acute pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas- a small organ located behind the stomach that plays a crucial role in digestion by producing enzymes to help break down the food we eat – becomes inflamed.
Symptoms include severe pain in the centre of the stomach, sickness, and a high temperature. Most people make a full recovery, however some can develop complications.
The study is the largest international multicentre study of its kind to date, involved over 1,700 patients with acute pancreatitis and was led by Newcastle with 52 pancreatic units from eight countries.
Commenting on the research, Dr Nayar & Mr. Pandanaboyana said:
“Evidence from the study suggests that Covid-19 increases the severity of acute pancreatitis and that patients with the condition are at an increased risk of mortality.
“Emerging data also indicates that patients with acute pancreatitis are at an increased risk of developing respiratory conditions, staying longer in hospital, and worsening pancreatitis symptoms.
“We hope the results of our study help clinicians to select the most effective treatment options for patients with acute pancreatitis and Covid-19, and to allocate their resources accordingly.
The Newcastle team worked closely with a number of partners on the study, including the Newcastle University, Pancreatic Society of GB & Ireland, Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland & The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
The findings of the study have recently been published in GUT, a leading international journal from the British Medical Journal and the British Society of Gastroenterology.
Dr Nayar and Mr Pandanaboyana are presenting the findings of their study to an international audience at a Covid-19 webinar on 23 March 2021. The webinar is free to attend and anyone interested can book a place here.