Pancreatitis


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Definition

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach. It releases the hormones, insulin and glucagon, as well as digestive enzymes that help you digest and absorb food.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

For more information, see the specific type of pancreatitis:

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

Signs and tests

Tests that may be performed include:

See the specific types of pancreatitis for more information.

Treatment

See the specific types of pancreatitis.

Expectations (prognosis)

See the specific types of pancreatitis.

Complications

See the specific types of pancreatitis.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have persistent abdominal pain or jaundice, with or without other symptoms.

Prevention

See the specific types of pancreatitis.

References

Banks PA, Freeman ML; Practice Parameters Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. Practice guidelines in acute pancreatitis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006;101:2379-2400.

Frossard JL, Steer ML, Pastor CM. Acute pancreatitis. Lancet. 2008;371:143-152.

Owyang C. Pancreatitis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 147.

Review Date: 
1/20/2010
Reviewed By: 
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.