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Hypocalcemia and Tetany With Steroid-Induced Acute Pancreatitis

Armand F. Cortese, MD; Frank Glenn, MD
Arch Surg. 1968;96(1):119-122. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01330190121027.
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ALTHOUGH hypocalcemia is frequently noted with acute pancreatitis, the association of tetany with this condition has been relatively rare. Edmondson1,2 reported tetany with hemorrhagic pancreatitis in 1942. Trevor,3 in 1944, described a proven case of hypocalcemic tetany with acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis; the serum calcium level was 5.4 mg/100 cc. Nardi4 has mentioned the ominous prognosis of serum calcium levels less than 7 mg/100 cc in acute pancreatitis, and indicated the relative rarity of tetany in this condition.

This present report will discuss an instance of fatal, acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis with hypocalcemia and tetany following intensive corticosteroid therapy. Serum calcium was recorded as low as 2.9 mg/100 cc during course of disease.

Report of a Case  A 27-year-old white man was transferred to The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center on May 8, 1965, with abdominal pain. In 1958, skin rash, arthralgia, and positive lupus erythematosus (LE) cell preparation


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