Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


We report the case of a 34-year-old alcoholic who was initially seen in March 1985 because of acute pancreatitis. A mass was demonstrated in the head of the pancreas. Serial sonogram and computed tomography scans over 4 1/2 years revealed progressive encroachment of the duodenum without symptoms attributable to obstruction. In 1989, three separate endoscopies with multiple biopsies showed chronic inflammation and strictures. Hypotonic duodenography confirmed stricture and obstructed duodenum. Surgical intervention is being considered. Duodenal obstruction secondary to chronic pancreatitis is rare. It may proceed subclinically for several years independent of continued alcohol use. Only when obstruction became severe in our patient did the classic symptoms of postprandial nausea, emesis, and weight loss become manifest. Obstructive jaundice from chronic pancreatitis due to stricture in the pancreatic portion of the common bile duct is uncommon.