Cystic fibrosis genotypes and alcoholic pancreatitis

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 May;13(5):496-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.1998.tb00675.x.


Pancreatitis and pancreatic insufficiency are associated with both cystic fibrosis and alcoholism. The pathogenesis of alcoholic pancreatitis is unknown, but only a minority of alcoholics develop pancreatitis, and it has been suggested that a genetic predisposition may play a role in this disease. Two observations led to the hypothesis that this genetic predisposition could result from mutations in the cystic fibrosis gene. First, the prevalence of cystic fibrosis mutations in the Caucasian population (approximately 5%) is similar to the prevalence of pancreatitis among heavy drinkers. Second, in both diseases, pancreatic duct damage is a prominent feature and has been postulated to be the initial site of injury. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine whether an increased frequency of mutations in the cystic fibrosis gene occurs in alcoholic pancreatitis. The 15 most common cystic fibrosis mutations in a Caucasian community were sought in 24 subjects with alcoholic pancreatitis. None were homozygous or heterozygous for these mutations. These findings suggest that cystic fibrosis mutations are not a major genetic factor predisposing to pancreatic injury in alcoholics.

MeSH terms

  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics*
  • DNA / analysis
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Pancreatitis, Alcoholic / genetics*


  • DNA