Pain in chronic pancreatitis

Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 1995;212:117-25. doi: 10.3109/00365529509090310.


Pain in chronic pancreatitis is usually so intense and long-lasting that follow-up care of patients is often difficult and frustrating. Many therapeutical options to relieve pain have been recommended, but controlled studies are limited. The approach to patients with chronic pancreatitis complicated by pain is dependent on several factors. Medical therapy is initially attempted, but a switch to drainage procedure shortly thereafter in patients with persistent pseudocysts or a dilated pancreatic duct. Lithotripsy and endoscopic removal of pancreatic duct concrements may reduce pain in selected patients with a limited number of stones and strictures. In many patients, however, a drainage procedure cannot be offered and advantages and disadvantages of a resection or denervation procedure should be weighed against long-term treatment with analgetics. Resections should be limited to the most affected part of the pancreas. Usually this concerns the head. In such cases, a Whipple resection is often carried out, but duodenum-preserving procedures may offer several advantages.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Pain, Intractable* / etiology
  • Pain, Intractable* / physiopathology
  • Pain, Intractable* / therapy
  • Pancreatitis* / epidemiology
  • Pancreatitis* / etiology
  • Pancreatitis* / physiopathology
  • Pancreatitis* / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome