Massive Bleeding From Inferior Mesenteric Vein With Hypovolemic Shock: A Rare Complication of Acute Pancreatitis

Sun Hwa Lee, Seong Jong Yun, Seokyong Ryu, Seung Woon Choi, Hye Jin Kim, Tae Kyung Kang, Sung Chan Oh, Suk Jin Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Acute pancreatitis may cause massive intra-abdominal bleeding as vascular complications caused by the erosion of a major pancreatic or peripancreatic vessel. In terms of treatment, the differentiation between arterial bleeding and venous bleeding using abdominal computed tomography (CT) angiography is important. In addition, hypovolemic shock caused by bleeding from the inferior mesenteric vein (IMV) in acute pancreatitis has not been reported. Case Report: A 58-year-old man presented to our emergency department with complaints of abdominal pain of 10 hours’ duration. The pain had an abrupt onset and started with alcohol consumption. After performing initial laboratory tests and an abdominal CT scan, he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. However, he complained of severe abdominal pain and was drowsy 2 h later. Follow-up CT angiography revealed acute necrotizing pancreatitis with massive hemoperitoneum and hypovolemic shock. We also found active bleeding from the IMV. We did not consider emergency catheter angiography with embolization; instead, exploratory laparotomy and hematoma evacuation with IMV ligation was performed. He was discharged without complications 14 days later. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?: Massive bleeding from the IMV accompanied by shock bowel syndrome is a rare complication of acute pancreatitis that can be confused with arterial bleeding. Emergency physicians should consider this diagnosis in acute pancreatitis as a possible cause of hypovolemic shock and anatomic course of the IMV and prevent fulminant shock by administering appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e5-e8
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • acute necrotizing pancreatitis
  • CT
  • extravasation
  • hypovolemic shock
  • inferior mesenteric vein


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