Endotherapy of early onset idiopathic chronic pancreatitis: results with long-term follow-up

Gastrointest Endosc. 2002 Apr;55(4):488-93. doi: 10.1067/mge.2002.122651.


Background: Idiopathic chronic pancreatitis that presents at age 35 years or younger has been classified as early onset type and is often characterized by chronic severe pain. Endotherapy, with drainage of the main pancreatic duct, can lead to control of pain if ductal hypertension is an important cause. Long-term results of endotherapy in patients with early onset idiopathic chronic pancreatitis are reported herein.

Methods: This retrospective study consists of 11 patients (6 men, 5 women; mean age 24.2 years, range 16-34 years) treated endoscopically in a 6.5-year period. The indication for treatment was pain in all patients and all had a dilated main pancreatic duct on pancreatography. The objectives of endoscopic treatment were to obtain good drainage of the pancreatic duct and complete clearance of ductal stones.

Results: Treatment was successful in all patients with no procedure-related mortality and with mild complications. Seven patients remained free of pain relapses after a mean follow-up of 78.3 months (37-116 months). Seven relapses of pain were recorded in the remaining 4 patients. Endoscopic retreatment was successful in all cases. The difference between the number of hospitalizations during the year before treatment (mean 2.2, range 1-9) and the year after (mean 0.3, range 0-2) was statistically significant (p < 0.01). Statistical significance was maintained at 3 and 6 years' follow-up.

Conclusions: Endoscopic treatment could be regarded as the initial management of choice for patients with early onset idiopathic chronic pancreatitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pancreatitis / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies