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February 1988

Pancreatitis After Biliary Surgery

Author Affiliations

Dayton, Ohio

Arch Surg. 1988;123(2):258. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400260146020

To the Editor.—I read with interest the article by Vernava et al1 in the May 1987 issue of the Archives. This work corresponds nicely to a similar prospective study that was published by my colleagues and me2 that showed, in a series of 100 consecutive patients undergoing elective biliary tract surgery, that 5.5% of patients undergoing elective cholecystectomy had postoperative elevated serum amylase levels. Additionally, in our series, 14.2% of the patients who had common duct explorations developed postoperative hyperamylasemia. We made a concerted effort to look for postoperative hyperamylasemia, and all patients who underwent upper abdominal surgery had daily amylase levels measured postoperatively. It is unclear from Vernava and colleagues' article whether serum amylase levels were assessed on a routine basis or whether amylase levels were drawn on only symptomatic patients. The study would be far more beneficial if the results were for patients who had

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