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May 1996

Recurrent Acute Pancreatitis Caused by Afferent Loop Stricture After Gastrectomy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

Arch Surg. 1996;131(5):561-565. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430170107021

Afferent loop obstruction after gastrectomy and Billroth II gastrojejunostomy is only rarely diagnosed as the cause of recurrent acute pancreatitis. Three patients are described in whom afferent loop stricture after gastrectomy and Billroth II reconstruction manifested as recurrent pancreatitis 13 to 24 years after the initial procedure. Late onset, nonspecific symptoms, and other simultaneous gastrointestinal pathologic features promoted a chronic clinical course in all patients. Symptoms included acute abdominal pain, vomiting, jaundice, hyperamylasemia, weight loss, and anemia. A thorough history, barium examination, cholescintigraphy, and endoscopy were central in establishing the diagnosis. The pathogenesis of stricture formation is thought to be ischemic mucosal damage from intestinal crossclamping. Surgical decompression provided lasting relief of the symptoms. Afferent loop stricture should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients with recurrent acute pancreatitis and previous gastrectomy with Billroth II reconstruction. (Arch Surg. 1995;131:561-565)

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