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Pancreatitis mnemonic: Best way to remember the causes of acute pancreatitis

What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. It occurs when the enzymes damage the pancreas, which causes inflammation. Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic.

Pancreatitis causes:

  • Conditions that can lead to acute pancreatitis include:
  • Gallstones
  • Obesity
  • Alcoholism
  • High blood triglyceride levels (hypertriglyceridemia)
  • Certain medications
  • High calcium levels in the blood (hypercalcemia), which may be caused by an overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism)
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Infection
  • Injury to the abdomen
  • Trauma

Pancreatitis mnemonic:

The mnemonic for acute pancreatitis is:  “I GET SMASHED”


Gall stones

Ethanol (alcohol)



Mumps / Malignancy


Scorpion stings

Hypercalcemia / Hypoertriglyceridemia

ERCP – Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography 


Pancreatitis Mnemonic
Pancreatitis Mnemonic

Few points to remember about pancreas

  • Most common cause of acute pancreatitis – Gallstone
  • Most common cause of chronic pancreatitis – Alcohol
  • Most common cause of chronic pancreatitis in children – Cystic fibrosis
  • Most common cause of pancreatic calcification – Alcohol
  • Most common congenital variant – Pancreas divisum
  • Most common site of thrombosis in chronic pancreatitis – Splenic vein
  • Most common site of pseudo aneurysm in chronic pancreatitis – Splenic artery
Pancreas high-yield points for USMLE/ NEET PG
Pancreas high-yield points for USMLE/ NEET PG

Who is more likely to get pancreatitis?

Few people are more likely to get acute or chronic pancreatitis than others:

  • Men are more likely to get pancreatitis than women.
  • African Americans are at higher risk of getting pancreatitis.
  • People with a family history of pancreatitis have a higher risk.
  • People who have Family history of gallstones are at higher risk.

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