A case of autoimmune pancreatitis responding to steroid therapy. Evidence of histologic recovery

Pancreatology. 2002;2(6):550-6. doi: 10.1159/000066092.


We report a case of autoimmune pancreatitis without obvious evidence of autoimmunological participation, which responded well to steroid treatment and provided histologic and radiographic evidence for this improvement. A 68-year-old woman presented abdominal fullness, diffuse pancreatic swelling on abdominal computed tomography and ultrasonography, and diffuse narrowing of the main pancreatic duct on endoscopic retrograde pancreatography. Transgastric aspiration needle biopsy of the body of the pancreas performed under endoscopic ultrasonography showed severe atrophy of acinar cells, infiltration of T lymphocytes. She was diagnosed as having autoimmune pancreatitis without obvious evidence of autoimmunological participation. Administration of 30 mg/day of predonisolone was started. Computed tomography showed marked improvement of the diffuse swelling of the pancreas, and endoscopic retrograde pancreatograpy showed amelioration of the narrowing of the main pancreatic duct after the start of treatment. Pancreatic tissue obtained by needle biopsy after the start of treatment with predonisolone revealed marked histologic improvement, including amelioration of the fibrosis, and infiltration of inflammatory lymphocytes, and a substantial increase in the number of pancreatic acinar cells. The present report is the first to demonstrate histologic recovery of autoimmune pancreatitis after steroid therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pancreatitis / diagnosis
  • Pancreatitis / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatitis / pathology
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Prednisolone