Many facts concerning acute pancreatic necrosis and the accompanying pathophysiologic changes have been well known for years. The yellow-white areas of "fat necrosis" in and around the pancreas were so named by Balser.1 Langerhans2 described the action of lipase in splitting neutral fat into fatty acid and glycerin, the latter being absorbed and the fatty acid deposited as needle-like crystals, which combine with calcium to form soaps. Frugoni and Stradiotti3 stated that 85 per cent of the soaps so formed may be insoluble.
Probably in no other disease is there such sudden demand for calcium, the amount needed depending on the extent of fat necrosis and the subsequent liberation of fatty acids.
We have been unble to find records of further investigations of the rôle of calcium in this disease, either as to the amount combined with the fatty acids in situ or as to the effect
EDMONDSON HA, FIELDS IA. RELATION OF CALCIUM AND LIPIDS TO ACUTE PANCREATIC NECROSISREPORT OF FIFTEEN CASES, IN ONE OF WHICH FAT EMBOLISM OCCURRED. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1942;69(2):177–190. doi:10.1001/archinte.1942.00200140015002