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Recurrent Pericardial Effusion as a Result of Chronic Pancreatitis: Successful Treatment with Somatostatin

Schoonjans, R. M.D.; Vandewoude, K. M.D.; Cesmeli, E. M.D.; Verloove, H. M.D.; Vogelaers, D. M.D., Ph.D.; Colardyn, F. M.D.; Elewaut, A. M.D., Ph.D.

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: October 1996 - Volume 23 - Issue 3 - p 224-227
Case Studies

We report a well-documented case of relapsing chronic calcifying pancreatitis with recurrent pleural and pericardial effusions during episodes of clinical and biochemical relapse of the pancreatitis. Pericardial effusions in association with pancreatitis have been reported only very occasionally, almost exclusively in chronic alcoholic pancreatitis with pseudocyst formation. Our successful conservative treatment consisted of parenteral nutrition and a continuous infusion of somatostatin for 6 weeks. We discuss other reported cases and proposed mechanisms of pathogenesis.

From the Departments of Gastroenterology (R.S., E.C., A.E.), Intensive Care (K.V., D.V., F.C.), and Cardiology (H.V.), University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Received March 14, 1996. Sent for revision May 10, 1996. Accepted July 1, 1996.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. R. Schoonjans, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers