Acute Pancreatitis in Pregnancy Following COVID-19 Vaccine

A Case Report

Rajib Kumar Dey; Hemamala Ilango; Subash Bhatta; Ahmed Shaheed; Shanaz Dole; Ahmed Zooshan; Mohamed Faisham; Moosa Murad

Disclosures

J Med Case Reports. 2022;16(354) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Background: Since the approval of the Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 infection, a few adverse effects have been reported. Acute pancreatitis has been reported in a few patients. However, there is currently no research showing a direct relationship between the vaccine and acute pancreatitis. Here, we report a case of acute pancreatitis following Pfizer vaccination in a young healthy pregnant woman without any known risk factors. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of possible vaccine-induced pancreatitis in a pregnant woman.

Case Presentation: The patient, a 24-year-old South-Asian female, at 31 weeks of gestation, presented with severe epigastric pain radiating to the back and worsening on lying supine, associated with nausea and vomiting. She was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis with a serum lipase level of 4376 U/L and an ultrasound showing features of pancreatitis. The patient received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine 1 week prior to these symptoms. Detailed evaluation did not show any etiological cause of pancreatitis. The patient had a spontaneous vaginal delivery and the baby was shifted to the neonatal intensive care unit in a stable condition. A computed tomography scan postpartum (day 2) demonstrated acute interstitial edematous pancreatitis. The patient was managed conservatively in the intensive care unit and discharged home in a stable condition.

Conclusion: This report highlights the importance of a detailed history and evaluation, and the close monitoring of any patient presenting with abdominal pain after vaccination. Acute pancreatitis can be fatal if not picked up early.

Introduction

The Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) mRNA vaccine (Pfizer vaccine) against COVID-19 was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2020.[1] There is very limited data in the literature about the adverse effects of the Pfizer vaccination.[2,3] The association of acute pancreatitis with this vaccination has been mentioned in a few case reports.[4,5] However, there is no research showing the direct relationship between the Pfizer vaccination and pancreatitis. The present study reports a case of acute pancreatitis following the Pfizer vaccination in a young pregnant lady without any known risk factors for pancreatitis. This is the first case report of its kind in the literature.

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