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May 1959

Treatment of Acute Hemorrhagic Pancreatitis with Adrenocorticosteroids: Clinical and Experimental Observations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(5):802-809. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320050133020

A limited number of case reports have appeared in the literature which describe a beneficial response following the treatment of acute pancreatitis with adrenocorticosteroids.4,6,9-13,16,19 The exact mechanism responsible for this improvement is not known; however, prevention of circulatory failure5-7 and anti-inflammatory,8,9,13,17 antienzymatic,16 and antiallergic13 effects have been suggested.

Included in the present study are two case reports of documented acute pancreatitis following abdominal operations. Both patients recovered after institution of abrenocorticosteroid therapy in conjunction with other supportive measures.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —A 47-year-old white woman was hospitalized on July 28, 1954, with a four-week history of cramping right-side abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and frequent eructations. Abnormal physical findings included a blood pressure of 210/110 and a firm, movable mass, 4 cm. in diameter, in the right midabdomen. Routine studies of blood and urine were within normal limits. Colon x-rays revealed a napkin-ring deformity

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