Does autoimmune pancreatitis increase the risk of pancreatic carcinoma?: a retrospective analysis of pancreatic resections

Pancreas. 2013 Apr;42(3):506-10. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e31826bef91.


Objectives: To estimate the risk of malignancy in autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP).

Methods: We examined resected pancreata to compare the prevalence of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) in 28 cases of AIP and 30 cases of chronic pancreatitis not otherwise specified (CP-NOS). We also reviewed a cohort of 84 AIP cases.

Results: The mean age of the AIP cohort (57 years) was significantly higher than that of the cohort of CP-NOS (47 years) (P = 0.01). Twenty-three cases (82%) of AIP showed PanIN, and 7 cases (25%) showed grade 2 PanIN. Grade 3 PanIN was identified in one case of AIP. There was no statistically significant difference in the number of cases with high-grade PanIN lesions between the cases of type 1 as opposed to type 2 AIP. In comparison to CP-NOS, a comparable percentage of patients with AIP had PanIN (82% of AIP cases vs 63% of CP-NOS cases) (P = NS) and PanIN 2 (25% AIP vs 20% CP-NOS) (P = NS). Of the 84 AIP cases at our institution (mean follow-up, 49 months), 2 cases of pancreatic carcinoma were identified 6 and 10 years after the diagnoses of AIP.

Conclusions: These findings raise concern that AIP is associated with an elevated risk of malignancy and should prompt additional studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / metabolism
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Pancreatitis / complications*
  • Pancreatitis / metabolism
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / complications
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53