New developments in diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of chronic pancreatitis.J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Dec; 28 Suppl 4:108-12.JG
Chronic pancreatitis is progressive and irreversible, leading to digestive and absorptive disorders by destruction of the exocrine pancreas and to diabetes mellitus by destruction of the endocrine pancreas. When complications such as pancreatolithiasis and pseudocyst occur, elevated pancreatic ductal pressure exacerbates pain and induces other complications, worsening the patient's general condition. Combined treatment with extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy and endoscopic lithotripsy is a useful, minimally invasive, first-line treatment approach that can preserve pancreatic exocrine function. Pancreatic duct stenosis elevates intraductal pressure and favor both pancreatolithiasis and pseudocyst formation, making effective treatment vitally important. Endoscopic treatment of benign pancreatic duct stenosis stenting frequently decreases pain in chronic pancreatitis. Importantly, stenosis of the main pancreatic duct increases risk of stone recurrence after treatment of pancreatolithiasis. Recently, good results were reported in treating pancreatic duct stricture with a fully covered self-expandable metallic stent, which shows promise for preventing stone recurrence after lithotripsy in patients with pancreatic stricture. Chronic pancreatitis has many complications including pancreatic carcinoma, pancreatic atrophy, and loss of exocrine and endocrine function, as well as frequent recurrence of stones after treatment of pancreatolithiasis. As early treatment of chronic pancreatitis is essential, the new concept of early chronic pancreatitis, including characteristics findings in endoscopic ultrasonograms, is presented.