Sir Thomas Watson (1843), in one of his scholarly lectures, commented: "It may seem a slight to the pancreas to pass it over without noticing the diseases to which it is subject. But really these diseases appear to be but few; and they do not signify their existence by any plain or intelligible signs." In point of occurrence, acute pancreatitis is sufficiently uncommon to suffer from diagnostic imprudence, yet sufficiently common to warrant the utmost diagnostic solicitude. At the Beth Israel Hospital between 1921 and 1939 there have been just over 100,000 admissions. Of this number, 33 were for acute pancreatitis, representing an incidence of 1 in every 3,000. This figure is similar to the incidence reported by other American investigators and roughly corresponds to the records of the Leeds General Infirmary in England, reported by Chamberlain (1927). Acute pancreatitis is undoubtedly, then, a rare but dangerous disease, and the
LEWISON EF. ACUTE PANCREATITIS: AN ETIOLOGIC REVIEW AND REPORT OF THIRTY-FIVE CASES. Arch Surg. 1940;41(4):1008–1037. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.01210040197012
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