UNUSUAL clinical features may develop in the course of pancreatitis. They may not only confirm an already established diagnosis, but also arouse the first suspicion of acute pancreatitis.
Complications and systemic involvement in pancreatitis can result from local suppuration and enzymatic activity on contiguous organs, or affect remote sites as a result of circulatory enzymes released from the gland. Local complications of obstructive jaundice and pseudocyst are well known, but less apparent are the infrequent peripancreatic inflammatory reactions causing massive ascites, splenic rupture, and colonic lesions. In addition to the typical picture of diabetes and exocrine deficiency seen with chronic pancreatitis, other unusual endocrine and metabolic complications may occur. Pulmonary involvement is seen in as high as 30% of the patients. Gastrointestinal hemorrhage and hematologic problems of hypercoagulability and hemolysis have been associated with this disease. An unusually high incidence of neuropsychiatric disturbances has been noted in patients with acute