The acute inflammations in the pancreas have been generally recognized as the source of trouble in the upper part of the abdomen only in very recent years, practically all important contributions on this subject having appeared since the publication of the lecture on this subject by Fitz of Boston in 1889. Interest in this affection has been specially stimulated since recent experimental studies have so definitely shown the connection between fat necrosis and pancreatic disease, for until this was recognized, fat necrosis was considered by many a distinct disease,instead of a pathognomonic symptom of pancreatitis. The evidence of association between gallstones and pancreatitis so clearly shown by Opie's observations, added another important reason for early operation in gallstone diseases, and attracted widespread attention, so that at present few surgeons would overlook the possibility of acute pancreatitis in any case in which acute symptoms were localized in the upper abdomen.
ACUTE PANCREATITIS.. JAMA. 1903;XLI(22):1348. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490410038003