We describe five patients with acute pancreatitis in whom acute renal failure developed in the absence of hypotension. Pancreatitis was diagnosed clinically, with mean serum and urinary amylase levels of 766 ± 197 (SE) and 2,378 ± 572 units/100 ml, respectively. Acute renal failure developed within 24 hours after admission in all patients. It was manifested by oliguria, elevated levels of serum creatinine (mean, 6.9 ± 1.1 mg/ 100 ml) and BUN (105 ± 28 mg/100 ml); a urinary sodium level of 72.0 ± 6.6 mEq/ liter; and isosmotic urine (355 ± 31 mOsm/liter). The mean uric acid level was 18.6 ± 1.6 mg/100 ml. Blood pressure was recorded frequently, and the lowest mean diastolic pressure was 96 6 mm Hg. The duration of the oliguric phase of acute renal failure was 8.2 ± 1.7 days, and all patients recovered from both the acute pancreatitis and acute renal failure. In summary, acute pancreatitis, per se, can precipitate acute renal failure. It occurs early in the course of the pancreatitis, and extreme hyperuricemia is a frequent finding that does not adversely affect the recovery of renal function.
(Arch Intern Med 136:1363-1365, 1976)