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January 1969

Massive Bilateral Hemorrhagic Pleural Effusions in Chronic Relapsing Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

New York
From the departments of medicine (Drs. Miridjanian and Derby) and surgery (Drs. Ambruoso and Tice), New York Veterans Administration Hospital, and the Department of Surgery (Drs. Ambruoso and Tice), New York University School of Medicine, New York.

Arch Surg. 1969;98(1):62-66. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340070080014

Bizarre pulmonary signs and symptoms may occur in association with pancreatitis. The frequency of pulmonary changes is estimated to be 14% to 17%.1-4 Pleural effusions were first described in acute pancreatitis and more recently in chronic pancreatitis as well.5-7 In the collective data from three large series of pancreatitis cases in the literature (518 patients), the frequency of pleural effusions was 5.2%, (27 patients).1,3,4 Pleural effusions occurred on the left side in 18 patients and were bilateral in seven patients. Eight detailed descriptions of bilateral pleural effusions associated with pancreatitis have been recorded, a total of 15 cases.7-12

In the patient to be described, chronic relapsing pancreatitis was associated with bilateral bloody pleural effusions. There have been two previous case reports of bilateral hemorrhagic pleural effusions in patients with pancreatitis.7-11

Report of a Case  A 52-year-old chronic alcoholic was admitted to the Manhattan Veterans Administration