Belgian consensus on chronic pancreatitis in adults and children : statements on diagnosis and nutritional, medical, and surgical treatment
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Acta gastro-enterologica belgica. - Bruxelles, 1946 - 1995
, p. 47-65
University of Antwerp
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is an inflammatory disorder characterized by inflammation and fibrosis, resulting in a progressive and irreversible destruction of exocrine and endocrine pancreatic tissue. Clinicians should attempt to classify patients into one of the six etiologic groups according to the TIGARO classification system. MRI/MRCP, if possible with secretin enhancement, is considered the imaging modality of choice for the diagnosis of early-stage disease. In CP, pain is the most disabling symptom, with a significant impact on quality of life. Pain should be assessed using the Izbicki score and preferably treated using the "pain ladder" approach. In painful CP, endoscopic therapy (ET) can be considered as early as possible. This procedure can be combined with extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ESWL) in the presence of large (> 4 mm), obstructive stone(s) in the pancreatic head, and with ductal stenting in the presence of a single main pancreatic duct (MPD) stricture in the pancreatic head with a markedly dilated MPD. Pancreatic stenting should be pursued for at least 12 months in patients with persistent pain relief. On-demand stent exchange should be the preferred strategy. The simultaneous placement of multiple, side-by-side, pancreatic stents can be recommended in patients with MPD strictures persisting after 12 months of single plastic stenting. We recommend surgery in the following cases : a) technical failure of ET; b) early (6 to 8 weeks) clinical failure; c) definitive biliary drainage at a later time point; d) pancreatic ductal drainage when repetitive ET is considered unsuitable for young patients; e) resection of an inflammatory pancreatic head when pancreatic cancer cannot be ruled out; f) duodenal obstruction. Duodenopan-createctomy or oncological distal pancreatectomy should be considered for patients with suspected malignancy. Pediatricians should be aware of and systematically search for CP in the differential diagnosis of chronic abdominal pain. As malnutrition is highly prevalent in CP patients, patients at nutritional risk should be identified in order to allow for dietary counseling and nutritional intervention using oral supplements. Patients should follow a healthy balanced diet taken in small meals and snacks, with normal fat content. Enzyme replacement therapy is beneficial to symptomatic patients, but also in cases of subclinical insufficiency. Regular follow-up should be considered in CP patients, primarily to detect subclinical maldigestion and the development of pancreatogenic diabetes. Screening for pancreatic cancer is not recommended in CP patients, except in those with the hereditary form.