STUART JON SPECHLER, M.D.
How much can we know about a disorder whose very diagnosis cannot be established clearly? Acute pancreatitis is often such a disorder. If the diagnosis of pancreatitis has a "gold standard", it must be the histologic demonstration of pancreatic inflammation. Histologic confirmation is not available for most cases, however. Instead, the physician must base the diagnosis on a gestalt of variably specific clinical and laboratory features.
The association of hyperamylasemia and acute pancreatitis was first described in 1929 (1), and estimation of the total serum amylase level remains the most widely used biochemical test for the diagnosis of pancreatitis (2).
SPECHLER SJ. How Much Can We Know About Acute Pancreatitis?. Ann Intern Med. ;102:704–705. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-102-5-704
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(5):704-705.
Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Pancreatic Disease.
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