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September 1955

Medical Management of Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

From the Medical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, The Tulane University of Louisiana School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;96(3):332-341. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250140054005

The therapy of pancreatitis is neither standardized nor specific, and often it is disappointingly ineffective. Certain trends in therapy are, however, noticeable. During the last two decades the treatment of acute pancreatitis has emphasized nonoperative supportive and symptomatic measures in the early phases of the disease. General adoption of this plan has been attended by an appreciable reduction in the fatalities which formerly resulted. Even so, there remains an apparent irreducible mortality, the magnitude of which is in the neighborhood of 10%.*

It appears that not only is improvement in therapy responsible for the greater survival rate but also improvement in diagnostic procedures has led to recognition of many milder, relatively innocuous, instances of the disease which previously would have been undiagnosed. Not only does this mild acute pancreatitis have a low mortality rate, but patients with severer forms of the disease also recover more frequently than formerly.† Kirby and

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