Cases of pancreatitis in children in the Newcastle Regional Board area were studied over approximately 6 years. There were 9 cases aged between 6 weeks and 15 years. In 5 children (all under 7 years of age) likely aetiological factors were found (2 cases of mumps and 1 case wach due to trauma, measles, and hereditary pancreatitis). In 4 children all over 13 years of age no likely aetiological factor was found. It is speculated that they may represent one end of the age spectrum of idiopathic pancreatitis as it occurs in adults. Hereditary pancreatis was definitely found in only one child and possibly in one other. Therefore, it probably does not represent the major cause of pancreatitis in children as has been previously thought. One child died, but all the other children have thrived since their illness.
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