Chronic pancreatitis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chronic pancreatitis
Chronische Pankreatitis mit Verkalkungen - CT axial.jpg
Axial CT showing multiple calcifications in the pancreas in a patient with chronic pancreatitis
Classification and external resources
Specialty gastroenterology
ICD-10 K86.0-K86.1
ICD-9-CM 577.1
OMIM 167800
DiseasesDB 9559
MedlinePlus 000221
eMedicine med/1721
MeSH D050500

Chronic pancreatitis is a long-standing inflammation of the pancreas that alters the organ's normal structure and functions.[1] It can present as episodes of acute inflammation in a previously injured pancreas, or as chronic damage with persistent pain or malabsorption. It is a disease process characterized by irreversible damage to the pancreas as distinct from reversible changes in acute pancreatitis.[medical citation needed]

Signs and symptoms[edit]

The symptoms consistent with chronic pancreatitis usually present with persistent abdominal pain or steatorrhea resulting from malabsorption of the fats in food.Considerable weight loss, due to malabsorption, is evident in a high percentage of patients, and can continue to be a health problem as the condition progresses. The patient may also complain about pain related to their food intake, especially those meals containing a high percentage of fats and protein.[1][2]


Among the causes of chronic pancreatitis are the following:[3]

The relationship between etiologic factors, genetic predisposition, and the pace of disease progression requires further clarification, though recent research indicates smoking may be a high-risk factor to develop chronic pancreatitis.[4] In a small group of patients chronic pancreatitis has been shown to be hereditary. Almost all patients with cystic fibrosis have established chronic pancreatitis, usually from birth. Cystic fibrosis gene mutations have also been identified in patients with chronic pancreatitis but in whom there were no other manifestations of cystic fibrosis.Obstruction of the pancreatic duct because of either a benign or malignant process may result in chronic pancreatitis.[5]



The mechanism of chronic pancreatitis viewed from a genetic standpoint indicates early onset of severe epigastric pain beginning in childhood. It is an autosomal dominant disease, chronic pancreatitis disease is identified in the cationic trypsinogen gene PRSS1, and mutation, R122H. R122H is the most common mutation for hereditary chronic pancreatitis, we see arginine is replaced with histidine. There are, of course, other mechanisms- alcohol, malnutrition, smoking- each exhibiting its own effect on the pancreas.[6]


The diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis is based on tests on pancreatic structure and function. Serum amylase and lipase may be moderately elevated in cases of chronic pancreatitis, amylase and lipase are nearly always found elevated in the acute condition. A secretin stimulation test is considered the best test for diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis. Other tests used to determine chronic pancreatitis are serum trypsinogen, computed tomography , ultrasound and biopsy.[7][8]

When chronic pancreatitis is caused by genetic factors, elevations in ESR, IgG4, rheumatoid factor, ANA and antismooth muscle antibody may be seen (detected via test).[9]


The different treatment options for management of chronic pancreatitis are medical measures, therapeutic endoscopy and surgery.[10] Treatment is directed, when possible, to the underlying cause, and to relieve pain and malabsorption. Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus may occur and need long term insulin therapy.[11] The abdominal pain can be very severe and require high doses of analgesics, sometimes including opiates. Alcohol cessation and dietary modifications (low-fat diet) are important to manage pain and slow the calcific process.[10] Antioxidants may help but it is unclear if the benefits are meaningful.[12]

Pancreatic enzymes[edit]

Replacement pancreatic enzymes are often effective in treating the malabsorption and steatorrhea.Treatment of CP consists of administration of a solution of pancreatic enzymes with meals. Some patients do have pain reduction with enzyme replacement and since they are relatively safe, giving enzyme replacement to a chronic pancreatitis patient is an acceptable step in treatment for most patients. Treatment may be more likely to be successful in those without involvement of large ducts and those with idiopathic pancreatitis.[13]


Surgery to treat chronic pancreatitis tends to be divided into two areas - resectional and drainage procedures. Among the reasons to opt for surgery are if there is a pseudcyst, fistula, ascites or a fixed obstruction.[3]


The annual incidence of chronic pancreatitis is 5 to 12 per 100,000 persons, the prevalence is 50 per 100,000 persons.[14] It is more common in men than women.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Chronic pancreatitis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  2. ^ Beger, H. G.; Büchler, M.; Ditschuneit, H.; Malfertheiner, P. (2012-12-06). Chronic Pancreatitis: Research and Clinical Management. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 215. ISBN 9783642753190. 
  3. ^ a b "Chronic Pancreatitis: Practice Essentials, Background, Pathophysiology". 
  4. ^ Tolstrup, J. S.; Kristiansen, L.; Becker, U.; Grønbaek, M. (2009). "Smoking and Risk of Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis Among Women and Men". Archives of Internal Medicine 169 (6): 603–609. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2008.601. PMID 19307524. 
  5. ^ Choices, NHS. "Chronic pancreatitis - Causes - NHS Choices". Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  6. ^ Brock, Christina; Nielsen, Lecia Møller; Lelic, Dina; Drewes, Asbjørn Mohr (2013-11-14). "Pathophysiology of chronic pancreatitis". World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG 19 (42): 7231–7240. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i42.7231. ISSN 1007-9327. PMC 3831204. PMID 24259953. 
  7. ^ "Chronic Pancreatitis. Hereditary pancreas disorders information | Patient". Patient (in en-GB). Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  8. ^ "Acute Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis Symptoms and Information | Patient". Patient (in en-GB). Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  9. ^ Kapural, Leonardo (2014-12-03). Chronic Abdominal Pain: An Evidence-Based, Comprehensive Guide to Clinical Management. Springer. p. 91. ISBN 9781493919925. 
  10. ^ a b American Gastroenterological Association Medical Position Statement (1998). "American Gastroenterological Association Medical Position Statement: treatment of pain in chronic pancreatitis". Gastroenterology 115 (3): 763–4. doi:10.1016/S0016-5085(98)70156-8. PMID 9721174.  – via ScienceDirect (Subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries.)|Available online 27 October 2005
  11. ^ Ewald, Nils; Hardt, Philip D (2013-11-14). "Diagnosis and treatment of diabetes mellitus in chronic pancreatitis". World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG 19 (42): 7276–7281. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i42.7276. ISSN 1007-9327. PMC 3831209. PMID 24259958. 
  12. ^ Ahmed Ali, U; Jens, S; Busch, OR; Keus, F; van Goor, H; Gooszen, HG; Boermeester, MA (Aug 21, 2014). "Antioxidants for pain in chronic pancreatitis.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 8: CD008945. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008945.pub2. PMID 25144441. 
  13. ^ Sikkens, E. C. M.; Cahen, D. L.; Kuipers, E. J.; Bruno, M. J. (2010-06-01). "Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy in chronic pancreatitis". Best Practice & Research. Clinical Gastroenterology 24 (3): 337–347. doi:10.1016/j.bpg.2010.03.006. ISSN 1532-1916. PMID 20510833.  – via ScienceDirect (Subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries.)
  14. ^ Yadav, Dhiraj; Lowenfels, Albert B. (2013-06-01). "The Epidemiology of Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer". Gastroenterology 144 (6): 1252–1261. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2013.01.068. ISSN 0016-5085. PMC 3662544. PMID 23622135. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]