The purpose of this study of acute pancreatitis has been to define the natural course of the disease. Many articles have been written on the various aspects of therapy, particularly of acute relapsing pancreatitis. The value of a given therapeutic regimen, in a nonfatal illness, is difficult to ascertain in the absence of a control series. This study is designed primarily to fill this need. The controversial subject of therapy has been avoided except as it throws additional light on the natural course of the disease.
This work is a follow-up study of 100 consecutive surviving patients treated for acute pancreatitis at Jefferson Davis Hospital during the years 1949-1954. Jefferson Davis Hospital is a charity hospital, a fact which influences somewhat the type of patients seen as well as the follow-up method.
Diagnosis has been based primarily on the clinical syndrome supported by an elevated serum amylase concentration. In a