Pancreatic panniculitis in active systemic lupus erythematosus
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This report documents the case of a 64-year-old African-American female with new end-stage renal disease (ESRD), diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) on renal biopsy and serologies including a positive ANA (>1:2560), positive anti-Sm antibodies, low titer anti-RNP antibodies, high titer anti-Ro antibodies, anti-dsDNA antibodies, lupus anticoagulant, and hypocomplementemia. She was also noted to have tender nodules on the bilateral shins. Excisional biopsy of one of the nodules showed marked fat necrosis with "ghost cells" and patchy basophilic granular debris consistent with pancreatic panniculitis. Further examination for pancreatic pathology showed an elevated lipase of 585 U/L (reference range 8-78 U/L) and amylase of 214 U/L (reference range 25-125 U/L). However, computed tomography imaging showed no evidence of pancreatitis or pancreatic tumors. This is very similar to another case recently reported in the literature. Similarities of these two cases (African-American females with lupus nephritis on dialysis) may represent a particular subset of SLE patients at increased risk for pancreatic panniculitis.
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