Pediatric chronic pancreatitis is associated with genetic risk factors and substantial disease burden

Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg, Melena Bellin, Sohail Z. Husain, Monika Ahuja, Bradley Barth, Heather Davis, Peter R. Durie, Douglas S. Fishman, Steven D. Freedman, Cheryl E. Gariepy, Matthew J. Giefer, Tanja Gonska, Melvin B. Heyman, Ryan Himes, Soma Kumar, Veronique D. Morinville, Mark E. Lowe, Neil E. Nuehring, Chee Y. Ooi, John F. PohlDavid Troendle, Steven L. Werlin, Michael Wilschanski, Elizabeth Yen, Aliye Uc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)890-896.e1
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015

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Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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