Guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pancreatitis.

Diagnosis and medical management

1.1 Background



Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is defined as a continuing inflammatory

disease of the pancreas characterised by irreversible morphological

changes, often associated with pain and with the loss of exocrine and/or

endocrine function which may be clinically relevant. (1) Alcohol is the

predominant cause of CP in the Western world, and is particularly

prevalent in South Africa (2) (Table I). Changing patterns of alcohol

consumption and the availability of more sensitive diagnostic tests have

led to the conclusion that CP is even more prevalent than previously

suspect