Background: Primary hyperparathyroidism is a rare cause of chronic pancreatitis and there is a paucity of data on this interesting association. There is also no data comparing the clinical profile of chronic pancreatitis secondary to primary hyperparathyroidism with that of alcohol related and idiopathic chronic pancreatitis.
Methods: The clinical and biochemical spectrum of chronic pancreatitis secondary to primary hyperparathyroidism was evaluated retrospectively and compared with nine age-matched patients with alcohol related and idiopathic chronic pancreatitis.
Results: Renal colic, nephrolithiasis, nephrocalcinosis, bone disease, palpable neck nodule, and psychiatric abnormality were significantly more common in chronic pancreatitis due to hyperparathyroidism in comparison to alcoholic and idiopathic groups. The corrected calcium (10.8 +/- 0.9 vs 9.3 +/- 0.6 vs 9.2 +/- 0.8 mg/dL; P = 0.001) and intact parathormone (425 +/- 130 [SE]vs 22.2 +/- 14.3 [SE]vs 30 +/- 27.3 [SE] pg/mL; P = 0.009) levels were significantly elevated, while levels of serum phosphate were significantly less (3.1 +/- 0.4 vs 3.9 +/- 0.5 vs 3.4 +/- 0.7 mg/dL, respectively; P = 0.04) in chronic pancreatitis due to hyperparathyroidism in comparison to the alcoholic and idiopathic groups. No significant difference was observed in the frequency of steatorrhea, diabetes mellitus, pancreatic calcification, and pseudocyst between the three groups. Six out of nine patients underwent parathyroidectomy and none had recurrence of pancreatic pain over 14.3 +/- 13.8 months.
Conclusions: Chronic pancreatitis due to hyperparathyroidism has important characteristics in its biochemical and clinical manifestations. Parathyroidectomy relieves pancreatic pain in majority of patients.