CHRONIC pancreatitis in childhood is a rare disease as judged by the paucity of reports in the literature. Standard texts1 describe it but briefly. The disease does not present a typical clinical picture, although there are some symptoms which may be found in most cases. Severe epigastric pain is common, and clinically detectable ascites may occur, although it is rare. While in acute pancreatitis an elevated serum amylase level is a diagnostic point,2 the persistence of an elevated serum amylase level in chronic pancreatitis is unusual. The lack of a typical clinical picture probably accounts for a number of cases which undoubtedly remain undiagnosed. This report presents a case of chronic pancreatitis in an 8 year old boy whose primary complaint was marked ascites and who maintained a persistently elevated serum amylase level for six months after the clinical picture had returned to normal.
REPORT OF A CASE