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May 1952


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, Wis.

AMA Arch Surg. 1952;64(5):571-578. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260010589006

PANCREATIC calcifications take the form either of true pancreatic calculi, which are present in the ducts, or of a diffuse pancreatic calcinosis, with a deposition of calcium scattered throughout various segments of the gland. These calcifications are considered to be a late phase of chronic relapsing pancreatitis1 and may or may not be associated with extensive fibrosis of the gland, diabetes, and steatorrhea. Pancreatic cysts may occur, but they are more common following acute pancreatitis.

Abdominal pain is the chief complaint of the majority of patients with pancreatic calcifications, and most types of treatment are aimed, either directly or indirectly, toward the relief of this symptom. Unilateral splanchnicectomy has been successful in the relief of pain of pancreatic origin.2 The reason for this is not clear, as the innervation of the pancreas is bilateral within the sympathetic system.3 If, however, a unilateral splanchnic block with procaine produces