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Relationship of Hyperparathyroidism to Pancreatitis

Thomas R. Kelly, MD
Arch Surg. 1968;97(2):267-274. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01340020131016.
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THE symptoms of primary hyperparathyroidism are so uncharacteristic that the diagnosis of the disease is rarely made by this means. Instead, the diagnosis is usually made by recognizing the complications that result from the disease.

Since the description of primary hyperparathyroidism in 1925, it has become apparent that associated renal and bone involvement are complications of the disease. In 1957 Cope and his associates1 first emphasized the association of hyperparathyroidism and pancreatitis and called attention to previous isolated cases in the literature. In 1962 they reviewed a total of 62 cases and postulated that pancreatitis had been reasonably established as a complication of hyperparathyroidism.2 The incidence of the association of the two diseases has been reported to be from 7% to 10%.2,3

A number of theories have been postulated to explain the relationship between hyperparathyroidism and pancreatitis. Cope et al2 feel that the hyperparathyroidism is primary,


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