PCCN Exam PancreatitisPerry Overton
PCCN Exam Pancreatitis Review
The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and next to the small intestine. The pancreas does two things: it releases powerful digestive enzymes into the small intestine to aid the digestion of food, and it releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body control how it uses food for energy.
Pancreatitis is a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Pancreatic damage happens when the digestive enzymes are activated before they are released into the small intestine and begin attacking the pancreas. There are two forms of pancreatitis; acute and chronic.
- Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation that lasts for a short time. It may range from mild discomfort to a severe life threatening illness. Most people with acute pancreatitis recover completely after getting the right treatment. In severe cases, acute pancreatitis can result in bleeding into the gland, serious tissue damage, infection, and cyst formation.
- Chronic pancreatitis is long lasting inflammation of the pancreas. it most often happens after an episode of acute pancreatitis. Heavy alcohol consumption is another big cause.
Signs and Symptoms
- Upper abdominal pain that radiates to the back; aggravated by eating, especially foods high in fat
- Swollen and tender abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Gallstones or heavy alcohol use
- Medications, infections, trauma
- Metabolic disorders and surgery
Treatment of Pancreatitis
- Treat the s/s
- IV fluids and pain meds
PCCN GI Sample Questions
1) Vasopressin may be used in the patients with GI bleeding. What is the mechanism of action of Vasopressin?
A) Increases mesenteric blood flow to reduce ischemia
B) Decreases portal venous blood flow to decrease bleeding
C) Causes sodium and water retention to replace volume
D) Blocks H2 receptors to inhibit hydrochloric acid secretion
2) A 39 y/o male is admitted with a history of chronic liver failure and ETOH abuse. He has ascites and severe peripheral edema. He is anorexic, vomiting, hypokalemic, and now has developed metabolic alkalosis. Which of the following would not be included in this patient’s management?
B) Potassium supplements
D) Diet high in protein
3) A 52 y/o male patient with acute pancreatitis develops agitation, fine tremors, and tachycardia about 48 hours after admission. Which of the following is the most likely cause of these signs and symptoms?
A) Pancreatic pseudocyst
C) Alcohol withdrawal
D) Pancreatic abscess
PCCN GI Practice Questions Answer with Rationale
1) Correct Answer – B) Decreases portal venous blood flow to decrease bleeding
- Rationale – Vasopressin slows blood loss by constricting the splanchnic arteriolar bed and decreasing portal venous pressure.
2) Correct Answer – A) Diuretics
- Rationale – Diuretics would contribute to metabolic alkalosis and hypokalemia and would deplete the vascular bed rather than the third spaces.
3) Correct Answer – C) Alcohol withdrawal
- Rationale – Alcoholism is a common cause of acute pancreatitis, and alcohol withdrawal is a complication that must be closely observed for within the first 24 – 72 hours after onset of abstinence.
PCCN Exam Pancreatitis (2020) – Most Current PCCN Exam Updates
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