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February 1961

Effect of Hypothermia on Experimental Pancreatitis

Arch Surg. 1961;82(2):281-284. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300080109007

Introduction  Because the exact etiology and pathogenesis of pancreatitis are unknown, definitive treatment is lacking, and the results of treatment are not entirely satisfactory. With the measures currently applied, the mortality rate from this disease is as high as 35%. For the reasons given below, hypothermia seemed to have a logical place in the treatment of this disease, and we endeavored to evaluate its use in the experimental form.Physical-chemical laws governing the rate of chemical reactions state that the rate of the reaction is proportional to the temperature.1 For a 10-degree rise in temperature, enzymatic reaction rates will increase by a factor of 1.1 to 5.3, usually between 2 and 3. If the temperature is increased by 10 degrees centigrade the reaction rate should double or triple, while if the temperature is decreased by 10 degrees centigrade the rate should be approximately one-half of what it was. The