International Journal of Pancreatology

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 69–81 | Cite as

Evidence for early oxidative stress in acute pancreatitis

Clues for correction
  • Joan M. Braganza
  • Patrick Scott
  • Diana Bilton
  • David Schofield
  • Christopher Chaloner
  • Neil Shiel
  • Linda P. Hunt
  • Teodoro Bottiglieri


Pancreatic oxidative stress with depletion of pancreatic glutathione is an early feature in all tested models of acute pancreatitis, and sooner or later the problem extends to the lung, irrespective of disease severity, whether toward spontaneous recovery or death from multisystem organ failure. We, therefore, sought evidence of oxidative stress in the human disease by analyzing admission blood samples. We found it from high concentrations of oxidatively altered linoleic acid in serum and vitamin C in plasma (p<0.001 vs controls or a group of other acute abdominal crises where the proportion of patients with admission Apache II scores <or> 8 was similar). These changes were accompanied by subnormal levels of ascorbic acid in plasma (p<0.001); selenium (p<0.001), β-carotene (p<0.001), and α-tocopherol in serum (p=0.005 for its molar ratio to cholesterol). Paradoxically, the plasma concentration ofS-adenosylmethionine was elevated (p=0.02), suggesting that this proximate bioactive metabolite of the essential amino acid had backtracked because its intracellular metabolism down the methionine trans-sulfuration pathway toward glutathione synthesis was disrupted. The aberrations transcended putative etiological factor, duration of symptoms, or disease severity. We conclude: (1) that oxidative stress has pervaded the vascular compartment by the time of admission in patients with acute pancreatitis, and, (2) that blood micronutrient antioxidant profiles at this stage are consistent not only with compromised intracellular capacity to synthesize/refurbish glutathione, but also vulnerability of intra- and extracellular lipid targets.

Key Words

Acute pancreatitis oxidative stress micronutrient antioxidants sulfur amino acids 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan M. Braganza
    • 1
  • Patrick Scott
    • 1
  • Diana Bilton
    • 1
  • David Schofield
    • 1
  • Christopher Chaloner
    • 1
  • Neil Shiel
    • 1
  • Linda P. Hunt
    • 1
  • Teodoro Bottiglieri
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine (Gastroenterology), Surgery and Faculty of Medicine Computational GroupRoyal InfirmaryManchester
  2. 2.Division of AnaesthesiaClinical Research CentreMiddlesexUK

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