Trace element and mineral metabolism in acute pancreatitis

M. A. Dubick, Carl L Keen, C. N. Conteas, M. J. McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recent evidence indicates that the pancreas plays an important role in trace element and mineral metabolism. The present study investigates trace element and mineral metabolism in plasma and free peritoneal fluid from 31 patients with acute pancreatitis and compares to plasma from 13 control subjects and a patient with chronic pancreatic ascites during the course of hospitalization. In acute pancreatitis, plasma concentrations of Cu, Zn, Ca, and Mg were significantly higher and Fe concentrations lower than in ascites. In chronic pancreatic ascites, Fe, Cu, and Ca concentrations were significantly higher in plasma than ascitic fluid, whereas Zn and Mg concentrations were similar in both fluids. In plasma, no significant differences were observed between mineral concentrations in controls and patients with acute pancreatitis, whereas Zn, Ca, and Mg concentrations were consistently different between both types of pancreatic disease. In ascitic fluid, Fe and Zn concentrations were most consistently different between the two forms of pancreatic disease. In contrast, except for the absolute values, measurement of digestive enzymes and protease inhibitors in plasma and ascitic fluid could not differentiate between these pancreatic disease. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the role of abnormal trace element metabolism in the pathogenesis of pancreatic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Ascites
  • Ca
  • Cu
  • Fe
  • Mg
  • Pancreatic ascites
  • Trace elements
  • Zn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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