Clinical Manifestations of Acute Pancreatitis

  • Peter A. Banks
Part of the Topics in Gastroenterology book series (PEPE, volume 2)


There are no specific clinical features that readily distinguish pancreatitis from a variety of other illnesses. Abdominal pain occurs in almost all cases of acute pancreatitis. It may reach full intensity in a matter of minutes or more gradually over several hours. Pain is usually localized in the epigastrium. It is occasionally more intense to the left or right of the epigastrium, or diffuse in the upper abdomen. If pancreatic exudation spreads diffusely throughout the peritoneal cavity, abdominal discomfort may become generalized. On rare occasions, abdominal pain is restricted exclusively to the lower abdomen such that a diagnosis of acute pancreatitis is not even considered. Pain in the lower abdomen would presumably be caused by extension of pancreatic exudation through the mesentery of the small intestine to the region of the ileum and cecum.


Acute Pancreatitis Biliary Tract Disease Alcoholic Pancreatitis Hemorrhagic Pancreatitis Edematous Pancreatitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter A. Banks
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Tufts University School of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of BostonUSA
  3. 3.Harvard Medical SchoolUSA
  4. 4.Beth Israel HospitalBostonUSA

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