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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1995 Sep;33(3):413-7.

Pancreatic panniculitis.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Pancreatic panniculitis is a rare disease in which necrosis of fat in the panniculus and other distant foci occurs in the setting of pancreatic disease.


Our purpose was to study the clinical and histopathologic features of this disease.


We conducted a retrospective review of 11 patients.


In five patients subcutaneous fat necrosis preceded the diagnosis of pancreatic disease by an average of 13 weeks. Five of our patients had underlying pancreatitis, and the remainder had carcinoma of the pancreas. Joint manifestations were prominent in six patients. Intestinal submucosal fat necrosis developed in two cases and caused massive gastrointestinal bleeding in one. Acute lesions demonstrated focal fat necrosis with "ghost cells," pathognomonic of this condition. Chronic lesions showed granulomatous and lipophagic panniculitis, with rare areas of basophilic fat necrosis. Cholecystectomy for gallstone pancreatitis was curative in two patients.


Pancreatic panniculitis has distinctive clinical and pathognomonic histopathologic findings that can be the presenting features of pancreatic disease.

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  • Pancreatic panniculitis. [J Am Acad Dermatol. 1996]
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