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South Med J. 2009 Dec;102(12):1253-6. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e3181c0dfca.

Pancreatic injury.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Surgical Care, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, NJ 07754, USA. nahmed@merdianhealth.com


Injury to the pancreas, because of its retroperitoneal location, is a rare occurrence, most commonly seen with penetrating injuries (gun shot or stab wounds). Blunt trauma to the pancreas accounts for only 25% of the cases. Pancreatic injuries are associated with high morbidity and mortality due to accompanying vascular and duodenal injuries. Pancreatic injuries are not always easy to diagnose resulting in life threatening complications. Physical examination as well as serum amylase is not diagnostic following blunt trauma. Computed tomography (CT) scan can delineate the injury or transaction of the pancreas. Endoscopic retrograde pancreaticography (ERCP) is the main diagnostic modality for evaluation of the main pancreatic duct. Unrecognized ductal injury leads to pancreatic pseudocyst, fistula, abscess, and other complications. Management depends upon the severity of the pancreatic injury as well as associated injuries. Damage control surgery in hemodynamic unstable patients reduces morbidity and mortality.

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