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Genetics plays a role in drug-induced pancreatitis

X-ray of patient with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Source: CNRI / Science Photo Library

Acute pancreatitis is linked to thiopurine immunosuppressant drugs that affect some 4–7% of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (pictured).

Acute pancreatitis is a recognised adverse drug reaction to thiopurine immunosuppressant drugs that affects an estimated 4–7% of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

New research identifies a genetic variant in the class II human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region that confers increased susceptibility to this reaction.

An initial genome-wide association study identified a significant association at rs2647087 within the class II HLA region; these findings were replicated in an independent cohort and the association was fine-mapped to the HLA-DQA1*02:01–HLA-DRB1*07:01 1 haplotype.

“Patients heterozygous at rs2647087 have a 9% risk of developing pancreatitis after administration of a thiopurine, whereas homozygotes have a 17% risk,” reveal Graham Heap, from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and colleagues in Nature Genetics[1] (online, 17 September 2014). 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066515

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