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October 4, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(14):807-810. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.52480400001001

Balzer, in 1879, first described acute pancreatitis with fat necrosis. Little attention was attracted to the subject, however, and it was not until Fitz, ten years later, wrote his classical papers that the medical world really became aware of the inflammatory diseases of the pancreas. Fitz soon after pointed out the fact that many supposed cysts of the pancreas due to traumatism were really accumulations of fluid in the lesser cavity of the peritoneum and the omental bursæ.

A proper understanding of chronic pancreatitis has been largely due to Robson, who first noticed the disease in connection with his operative work upon the biliary tract. In fact, the surgical study of the inflammatory diseases of the pancreas may be said to be the result of an inquiry into the causation of some of the complications of gallstone disease. The reason for this depends upon certain anatomic facts. Brewer, discussing the