Papers And Originals

Pleural Effusion with Pancreaticopleural Fistula

Br Med J 1973; 1 doi: (Published 10 February 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;1:330
  1. M. Tombroff,
  2. A. Loicq,
  3. J.-P. De Koster,
  4. L. Engleholm,
  5. J.-P. Govaerts


    Three patients with pleural effusion were found to have pancreaticopleural fistulas passing through an opening in the diaphragm are reported. In one case the effusion was purulent and originated from an abscess of the pancreas. Retrograde pancreatography during operation defined the course of the fistula. In two other cases the fistula was demonstrated by radiography after intrapleural injection of contrast medium. The diagnostic importance of injecting contrast medium early into the pleural cavity in cases of effusion rich in amylase, before lung expansion obscures the fistula, is emphasized. Cases of pancreaticopleural fistula may be commoner than supposed.