A 52 year old man with chronic pancreatitis presented with recurrent upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Gastroscopy was normal, but visceral angiography suggested that there were gastric varices. Despite treatment with propranolol he had further episodes of bleeding and so underwent splenectomy to decompress the gastric varices. When the spleen was removed, however, an inflammatory mass in the head of the pancreas adherent to the posterior gastric wall was noted. Within it the splenic artery was visible and communicated with the gastric lumen through a small opening in the gastric wall. The artery was ligated and the patient has since had no further bleeding. Thus, chronic pancreatitis should be considered as a cause of recurrent upper gastro-intestinal bleeding, especially when gastroscopy is normal.
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