Chronic Pancreatitis – Diagnosis

It should be noted that patients may present with recurrent episodes of acute pancreatitis or they may go on to develop chronic pancreatitis; the distinction between the two should be known.

Recurrent episodes of acute pancreatitis should be self-explanatory.

Chronic pancreatitis is used to describe loss of pancreatic function secondary to long-term inflammation of the organ. Patients have problems with malabsorption, steatorrhoea, and in some cases the development of diabetes mellitus.

Chronic pancreatitis can present to the ED both as acute exacerbations, much like acute pancreatitis, or with a history of chronic pain problems or weight loss/malabsorption. Involvement of the surgical team early in the management of these patients is recommended.

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