Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by progressive parenchymal fibrosis resulting in loss of pancreatic exocrine and endocrine function. The pathogenesis of chronic pancreatitis is unclear, but is thought to be secondary to repeated parenchymal injury. Common etiologies include alcoholic pancreatitis, autoimmune pancreatitis, and pancreatic duct obstruction caused by pancreatic divisum or stricture. The disease affects all elements of the gland; exocrine dysfunction can occur early in the disease process followed by subsequent endocrine dysfunction. Parenchymal fibrosis often causes pancreatic duct strictures resulting in distal pancreatic duct dilation. Intraparenchymal calcification and intraductal calcium calculi are common.
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