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December 1956

Relapsing Pancreatitis Secondary to Choledocholithiasis

Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas
Dr. Howard is presently Professor of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine, Ga.; From the Cora and Webb Mading Department of Surgery, Baylor University College of Medicine, and the Jefferson Davis and Veterans Administration Hospitals.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(6):960-964. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280060060013

The early report by Darling,8 followed by the extensive studies of Gambill, Comfort, and Baggenstoss,* has, in the past decade, stimulated an increasing interest in the problem of relapsing pancreatitis, an interest necessitated by the inherent difficulties in treatment. Several of the earlier reports indicated that relapsing pancreatitis, in contradistinction to simple acute pancreatitis, was not characteristically associated with cholelithiasis. This experience led to the hypothesis that relapsing pancreatitis might be a primary disease of the pancreas, with biliary concretions playing a rather unimportant role in etiology. More recent studies of a large series of patients reveal that the incidence of cholelithiasis is essentially the same in relapsing pancreatitis as in simple acute pancreatitis.18 Of real importance is the observation that the results of treatment are distinctly better in those patients with biliary-tract disease than in those without. Most authors advocate thorough exploration of the biliary tree with

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