January 8, 1944


JAMA. 1944;124(2):122-123. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850020052023

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To the Editor:—  In their article entitled "Changes in the Electrocardiogram Induced by Acute Pancreatitis" (The Journal, Dec. 4, 1943, p. 892) Gottesman, Casten and Beller emphasize the diagnostic value of the electrocardiogram in this condition. They conclude that electrocardiographic changes are one of a triad which "should establish the clinical diagnosis of acute pancreatitis." This conclusion implies a specificity for such electrocardiographic abnormalities which is at variance with the experience of others and myself and which is contradicted by the authors' recognition that "changes in the electrocardiographic pattern have been observed in a variety of abdominal conditions particularly with those associated with disease of the biliary system."Fitzhugh and Wolferth (Ann. Surg.101:478 [Jan.] 1935) have presented several cases with gallbladder disease exhibiting striking electrocardiographic abnormalities similar to those encountered by Gottesman and his collaborators, which disappeared following cholecystectomy. In 1938 during the tenure of a fellowship in

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