Pain in chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2007 Jun;36(2):335-64, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2007.03.011.


Chronic, debilitating abdominal pain is arguably the most important component of chronic pancreatitis, leading to significant morbidity and disability. Attempting to treat this pain, which is too often unsuccessful, is a frustrating experience for physician and patient. Multiple studies to improve understanding of the pathophysiology that causes pain in some patients but not in others have been performed since the most recent reviews on this topic. In addition, new treatment modalities have been developed and evaluated in this population. This review discusses new advances in neuroscience and the study of visceral pain mechanisms, as well as genetic factors that may play a role. Updates of established therapies, as well as new techniques used in addressing pain from chronic pancreatitis, are reviewed. Lastly, outcome measures, which have been highly variable in this field over the years, are addressed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain* / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Pain* / etiology
  • Abdominal Pain* / therapy
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde / methods
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lithotripsy
  • Nerve Block / methods
  • Pancreatectomy / methods
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / complications*
  • Treatment Outcome