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Keywords:

  • chronic pancreatitis;
  • alcohol;
  • genetics;
  • autoimmune;
  • pancreatic stellate cell;
  • diagnosis;
  • management

Abstract

Chronic pancreatitis is a necroinflammatory process characterized pathologically by acinar atrophy and fibrosis and clinically by abdominal pain, diabetes and maldigestion. In this review we summarize some of the recent advances in the understanding of the pathogenesis of pancreatitis and how they have shaped our current understanding of chronic pancreatitis. We pay particular attention to advances in the genetic basis of idiopathic, hereditary and tropical pancreatitis as well as research into the relationship between alcohol and the pancreas. We have also reviewed current practices with respect to diagnosis and management of chronic pancreatitis.