Background: The clinical significance of incomplete pancreas divisum (IPD) has not been fully described. In this study we report the clinical presentation and results of endoscopic treatment of the 32 (0.6%) patients with IPD seen at our center over a 10-year period.
Methods: The study population consisted of 24 women and 8 men (mean age 42 years, range 13 to 82 years). Ten (31%) patients presented with acute recurrent pancreatitis, 5 (16%) with chronic pancreatitis, and 3 (9%) with pancreatic type pain. Detailed history, laboratory tests, US, CT, and ERCP excluded other etiologies for their symptoms. The remaining 14 (44%) presented with biliary problems. The 18 symptomatic patients with IPD were treated as follows: 8 received dorsal duct stents, 3 underwent minor papilla endoscopic sphincterotomy and dorsal duct stent placement, 4 had minor papilla dilatation only, and 3 had ventral duct stents placed.
Results: Patients were then followed for recurrence of pancreatitis and pancreatic-type pain. Mean follow-up was 15.5 months (range 3 to 30 months). Six (60%) of the patients with acute recurrent pancreatitis and 4 (80%) with chronic pancreatitis benefitted from the endoscopic therapy. However, only 1 (33%) of the patients with pancreatic-type pain benefitted.
Conclusion: The clinical presentation and response to endoscopic therapy of patients with ICP appeared to be similar to that of patients with complete pancreas divisum.