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February 3, 1923


JAMA. 1923;80(5):326. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640320038016

Although the phenomena of the occurrence of pancreatitis have been extensively observed and made the subject of exhaustive reports, the actual cause of the disease still remains one of the unsolved problems of pathology. Various sorts of experimental interference with the normal functions of the pancreas may lead to pathologic conditions and symptoms characteristic of pancreatitis; in fact, the agencies that lead to these manifestations may be so varied and seemingly unrelated in character that this fact of itself has served to confuse the student of the subject. At one time it seemed as if the entrance of infectious micro-organisms through the duct of Wirsung must be the predisposing cause of pancreatitis, whether acute or chronic. Some writers are strongly of the opinion that the possible infecting organisms are brought to the pancreatic tissue by way of the lymphatics. Such views were formulated at a time when bacteriology was the