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October 7, 1968

Effects of Alcohol on The Pancreas

JAMA. 1968;206(2):376-377. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150020092030

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To the Editor:—  The Journal (205:116, 1968) contained a letter from Drs. Madding, Tueller, and Kennedy concerning the effect of alcohol on the pancreas, including observations on a patient with chronic pancreatitis, previous gastric resection, and postoperative pancreatic fistula.A previous publication of our own (Arch Surg95:556, 1967) related the effect on pancreatic juice volume and enzyme concentration of the administration of 108 ml of absolute alcohol given orally (240 ml of bourbon whiskey) to two patients with external pancreatic fistula following trauma. These findings were subsequently substaniated in a third patient who was observed some four months after publication of the above-mentioned paper.Neither moderate nor large volumes of alcohol administered orally has produced any significant change in exocrine pancreatic secretion as measured in those patients with posttraumatic pancreatic fistula. In our three patients, the stomach and duodenum were intact, and the pancreas was otherwise normal,