Acute pancreatitis was induced in anaesthetised dogs in order to investigate the relative contribution of peritoneal ascitic fluid and thoracic duct lymph as routes of transfer of pancreatic enzymes from the inflamed gland to the blood. In eight animals the exudate from the gland was collected in a plastic bag and continuously drained away, and in a further eight it was allowed to accumulate within the peritoneal cavity. The thoracic duct was cannulated and in four of the animals of each group the lymph which drained was discarded; in the other four it was returned via a venous cannula. The initial rise of plasma amylase and lipase was probably because of the direct transfer of enzyme into veins draining the pancreas or peri-pancreatic tissues. Thereafter transfer of enzyme via the thoracic duct significantly influenced plasma concentrations of amylase and lipase. The majority of enzyme released from the gland accumulated within the peritoneal ascitic fluid, but this intraperitoneal accumulation did not appear to have a significant influence upon lymph or plasma concentrations of amylase or lipase.
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