The list of extraintestinal manifestations of inflammatory bowel diseases does not classically include pancreatitis and pancreatic insufficiency. We report here six cases of unexplained pancreatitis associated with inflammatory bowel disease (five patients with Crohn's disease, one with indeterminate colitis). None of the classical etiologies for pancreatitis was found in our patients; moreover none of them had duodenal localization of Crohn's disease or sclerosing cholangitis, two conditions in which pancreatitis associated with inflammatory bowel disease has been previously described. Pancreatitis was painless (or was associated with moderate and atypical abdominal pain) in four of our six cases; no pancreatic calcification was found in any case; in three patients a total or subtotal exocrine pancreatic insufficiency was evidenced. Endoscopic retrograde pancreatography performed in four subjects showed normal or minimally altered pancreatic ducts even in those with severe pancreatic insufficiency. These cases emphasize the existence of a probably nonfortuitous association of inflammatory bowel disease with pancreatitis. Its recognition could make a significant contribution in the management of inflammatory bowel disease.