Background & aims: Conflicting reports have raised the question whether K-ras gene mutations in chronic pancreatitis are related to the development of pancreatic neoplasm. The aim of the present study was to clarify this issue by surveying patients with chronic pancreatitis and K-ras gene mutation over 4 years.
Methods: K-ras point mutations at codon 12 in duodenal juices obtained during exocrine function tests were examined by enriched polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism and direct DNA sequence analysis, and long-term follow-up of these patients was performed.
Results: K-ras gene mutation was found in 20 of 54 patients (37%) with chronic pancreatitis. The types of mutation were GAT in 7, GTT in 11, and TGT in 2 patients. Pancreatic neoplasm occurred in none of the mutation-positive patients over a mean follow-up period of 78 months.
Conclusions: K-ras gene mutation in patients with chronic pencreatitis did not seem to be related to the development of pancreatic neoplasm during the follow-up period, and analysis of K-ras gene mutation seems of little use for diagnosing pancreatic neoplasm in patients with chronic pancreatitis.