Korean J Gastroenterol.  2005 Nov;46(5):345-351.

Natural Course and Medical Treatment of Chronic Pancreatitis

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Gastroenterology, Yongdong Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. dklee@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr

Abstract

Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive disease without curative treatment. Abdominal pain is the most predominant symptom of chronic pancreatitis that initially brings most of the patients to the physician's attention. Some studies have correlated the course of pain in chronic pancreatitis in comparison with the duration of the disease, progressing exocrine and endocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and morphological changes such as pancreatic calcification and duct abnormalities. Furthermore, the course of pain has been studied after alcohol abstinence or surgery in some groups. However, there are only few well-performed and valid studies, and some of them even have produced diversing results, in part. Further controlled studies harvoring a large number of patients in a multicenter setting should be considered. Therapeutic efforts on chronic pancreatitis have focused on palliative treatment of pain which is present in about 80% of cases. Endoscopic treatment of pain in chronic pancreatitis is useful and feasible in many patients. Selecting candidate for endotherapy is mandatory. Main indication of pancreatic stent insertion in chronic pancreatitis is the presence of an obvious ductal stricture. Complications of chronic pancreatitis are also indications of endoscopic intervention. Exocrine and endocrine insufficiencies should be meticulously managed to prevent complications and to maintain good quality of life.

Keyword

Chronic pancreatitis; Natural course; Endoscopic treatment
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