Pancreatico-pericardial fistula as a complication of chronic pancreatitis

Academic Article


  • Pancreatico-pericardial fistula is an extremely rare complication of chronic pancreatitis. We present a case of a 58-year-old man who presented with syncope. Transthoracic echocardiogram revealed a pericardial effusion with tamponade physiology. Pericardiocentesis and pericardial fluid analysis demonstrated a lipase level of 2321 U/L. Subsequently, an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) was performed, confirming the presence of a pancreatico-pericardial fistula (PPF) from the distal body of the pancreas. A pancreatic duct stent was placed across the duct disruption on two separate occasions; however, despite stent placement, the patient continued to re-accumulate pericardial fluid and deteriorated. While rare, PPFs may complicate chronic pancreatitis, may not respond to pancreatic duct stenting and may portend a poor prognosis.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • F1000Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wilcox CM; Sommer CA
  • Volume

  • 3