Case Report
Copyright ©2006 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Mar 21, 2006; 12(11): 1810-1812
Published online Mar 21, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i11.1810
Autoimmune pancreatitis: Functional and morphological recovery after steroid therapy
László Czakó, Éva Hegyközi, Attila Pálinkás, János Lonovics
László Czakó, Éva Hegyközi, János Lonovics, First Department of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
Attila Pálinkás, Elizabeth Hospital, Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary
Supported by ETT (5 K503), OTKA (5 K507) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (BÖ 5/2003)
Correspondence to: László Czakó, MD, PhD, First Department of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged, PO Box 469, H-6701, Hungary.
Telephone: +36-62-545201 Fax: +36-62-545185
Received: October 10, 2005
Revised: October 20, 2005
Accepted: November 10, 2005
Published online: March 21, 2006

Autoimmune pancreatitis, a recently recognized type of chronic pancreatitis, is not rare in Japan, but reports of it elsewhere are relatively uncommon. We report the first preoperatively diagnosed case of autoimmune pancreatitis in Hungary, which responded well to steroid treatment and provided radiographic and functional evidence of this improvement. A 62-year-old female presented with a 4-month history of recurrent epigastric pain and a 5-kg weight loss. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) indicated diabetes mellitus and the result of the fecal elastase test was abnormal. Ultrasonography (US) and the CT scan demonstrated a diffusely enlarged pancreas, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) an irregular main pancreatic duct with long strictures in the head and tail. Autoimmune pancreatitis was diagnosed. The patient was started on 32 mg prednisolone daily. After 4 wk, the OGTT and faecal elastase test results had normalized. The repeated US and CT scan revealed a marked improvement of the diffuse pancreatic swelling, while on repeated ERCP, the main pancreatic duct narrowing was seen to be ameliorated. It is important to be aware of this disease and its diagnosis, because AIP can clinically resemble pancreatobiliary malignancies, or chronic or acute pancreatitis. However, in contrast with chronic pancreatitis, its symptoms and morphologic and laboratory alterations are completely reversed by oral steroid therapy.

Keywords: Autoimmune pancreatitis, Steroid therapy, Chronic pancreatitis, Pancreatic endocrine function, Pancreatic exocrine function