Objective To determine the clinical presentation, diagnostic variables, risk factors, and disease burden in children with chronic pancreatitis. Study design We performed a cross-sectional study of data from the International Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In Search for a Cure, a registry of children with acute recurrent pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis. Between-group differences were compared using Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Results Among 170 subjects in the registry, 76 (45%) had chronic pancreatitis; 57% were female, 80% were white; median age at diagnosis was 9.9 years. Pancreatitis-predisposing genetic mutations were identified in 51 (67%) and obstructive risk factors in 25 (33%). Toxic/metabolic and autoimmune factors were uncommon. Imaging demonstrated ductal abnormalities and pancreatic atrophy more commonly than calcifications. Fifty-nine (77%) reported abdominal pain within the past year; pain was reported as constant and receiving narcotics in 28%. Children with chronic pancreatitis reported a median of 3 emergency department visits and 2 hospitalizations in the last year. Forty-seven subjects (70%) missed 1 day of school in the past month as the result of chronic pancreatitis; 26 (34%) missed 3 or more days. Children reporting constant pain were more likely to miss school (P = .002), visit the emergency department (P = .01), and experience hospitalizations (P = .03) compared with children with episodic pain. Thirty-three children (43%) underwent therapeutic endoscopic retrograde pancreatography; one or more pancreatic surgeries were performed in 30 (39%). Conclusions Chronic pancreatitis occurs at a young age with distinct clinical features. Genetic and obstructive risk factors are common, and disease burden is substantial.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health