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Effect of Intravenous Alcohol on the Pancreas

Albert B. Lowenfels, MD; Bakhshish Masih, MD; Thomas C. Y. Lee, MD; Michael Rohman, MD
Arch Surg. 1968;96(3):440-441. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01330210118024.
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FOR MANY YEARS alcohol has been considered an important agent in the etiology of pancreatitis although the exact manner of action is unknown. From previous work one cannot tell whether alcohol exerts its deleterious effect by its direct irritative action on the gastroduodenal mucosa or whether it acts in any fashion after being absorbed into the blood stream.

Recently we observed a patient with a temporary pancreatic fistula which allowed us to study the pancreatic secretory response to intravenous alcohol. We are reporting this single case since we can find no other direct measurements of human pancreatic gland activity after parenteral alcohol.

Report of a Case  A 79-year-old nonalcoholic woman, underwent excision of a symptomatic duodenal diverticulum on Nov 7, 1966, at Grasslands Hospital. The neck of the diverticulum was in close proximity to the main pancreatic duct and a few days later a pancreatic fistula developed characterized by large


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