Korean J Med.  2012 Jul;83(1):1-17.

Etiology, Pathogenesis and Natural Course of Chronic Pancreatitis

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hslee60@korea.ac.kr


The etiology of chronic pancreatitis varies greatly as demonstrated in the TIGAR-O classification. However, due to the lack of correlation and reproducibility between the etiologic factors and the presentation of the disease, it is presumed that individual sensitivity such as genetic predisposition would play an important role in its pathogenesis. Although our understanding on the pathophysiology of chronic pancreatitis is still far from being adequate, we are gaining more insights on its underlying mechanism through active researches related to pancreatic stellate cells, and molecular/genetic studies. Since the clinical manifestations of chronic pancreatitis show significant variation according to its cause, stages of the disease, and presence of local complications, controversy still remains regarding the natural course of chronic pancreatitis and warrants further study. At present, it is generally agreed that acute pancreatitis, recurrent acute pancreatitis, and chronic pancreatitis lie on the same spectrum of the disease.


Chronic pancreatitis; Etiology; Pathogenesis; Natural course
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