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Marathon pancreatitis: a case of acute pancreatitis caused by distance running
  1. Emily Coskun1 and
  2. Allison L Yang2
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian - Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, New York-Presbyterian - Weill Cornell, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emily Coskun; ebc9006{at}


Marathon running or other forms of strenuous exercise have been reported as a rare cause of acute pancreatitis. Theories as to the mechanism of acute pancreatitis include microvascular ischaemia due to dehydration or repetitive trauma to the pancreas. We report a case of a healthy woman in her 30s who developed abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting after a 32 km marathon training run. She was found to have elevated lipase and inflammation of the pancreatic tail with associated pericolic and pelvic free fluid on CT scan. Workup including abdominal ultrasound and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) did not reveal biliary or pancreatic duct pathology. She improved with conservative management. These findings support the hypothesis of exercise-induced pancreatitis from long-distance running.

  • gastroenterology
  • pancreatitis
  • pancreas and biliary tract
  • general practice / family medicine
  • medical education

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  • Contributors EC has written and edited the paper. ALY provided direct care for the patient, and contributed expertise in interpretation of images and clinical findings. EC and ALY were responsible for drafting of the text, sourcing and editing of the clinical images, investigation of the results, drawing original diagrams and algorithms, and critical revision for important intellectual content. EC and ALY gave final approval of the manuscript. EC is the patient.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.