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October 1959

Acute Renal Failure as a Complication of Acute Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

U. S. Army

From the Department of Metabolism, Division of Medicine, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the Department of Medicine, Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D. C.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;104(4):539-543. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270100025005

It is the purpose of this paper to emphasize the not infrequent occurrence of acute renal failure complicating acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis. Basic texts 1-6 and recent review articles 7-12 on pancreatitis make no mention of acute renal failure as a potential complication. Actual survey of the literature reveals very few reports of this combination of severe diseases. Lucke13 listed acute pancreatitis among the miscellaneous causes of "lower nephron nephrosis" but did not elaborate further. A review of 22 cases of "renal anoxia syndrome," by Gaberman et al.14 included two which followed acute pancreatitis; Varay15 reported a single case and referred to three others. Swan and Merrill listed acute pancreatitis as the cause of one of 85 cases of acute renal failure.16 Lynch 17 described pathologic lesions of renal tubular necrosis (attributed by him to microscopic fat-droplet emboli) in six cases of pancreatitis, but antemortem acute renal failure