Roberto Simons-Linares, MD: The Impact of Cannabis Use for Acute Necrotizing Pancreatitis

OCTOBER 29, 2019
Kenny Walter
With the use of cannabis increasing in the US, a team of investigators is exploring how its use impacts the fluids associated with patients with acute necrotizing pancreatitis.

During the American College of Gastroenterology’s Annual Scientific Meeting (ACG 2019) in San Antonio, Texas, Roberto Simons-Linares, MD, a gastrointestinal fellow with the Cleveland Clinic, explained in an interview with MD Magazine® how cannabis use ultimately effects the outcomes of this patient population.

 

MD Mag: What is the take home point from the study on the outcomes of acute necrotizing pancreatitis and the associated fluids with cannabis users?
 
Simons-Linares:  As cannabis use increases in the legalization in the United States, we may see more cannabis users. As acute pancreatitis is 1 of the most common diseases in gastroenterology, we wanted to look at a special cohort of those who develop a pancreatic fluid collection and see if there is any impact of cannabis.

The take-home points are that patients that consume cannabis were found to have higher rates of acute kidney injury, higher rates of systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and also higher rates of ICU. Our intensive care unit needs although they were found interestingly to require less pancreatic fluid collection drainage interventions and also they develop less bacterial infections or bacteremia in the blood.

MD Mag: Do you believe it is beneficial for this patient population to use cannabis?

Simons-Linares: In the study, we found actually cannabis users were found to have poorer outcomes. They have higher rates of kidney injury as I mentioned before, systemic inflammatory
response syndrome.

I think the take-home message from this study and from those findings is that we need more data than what we have right now. The studies on acute pancreatitis in cannabis users is very limited and no one has really looked into the cohort that has pancreatic fluid collection.

So, the take home points is that we need more data, that the cannabis impact in acute pancreatitis still needs to be studied. We don't know if it helps or if it's actually harmful but we
can conclude that we need more data in this topic.
 

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