Published online Apr 28, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i16.2487
Revised: October 15, 2005
Accepted: October 26, 2005
Published online: April 28, 2006
Autoimmune chronic pancreatitis (AIP) is increasingly being recognized worldwidely, as knowledge of this entity builds up. Above all, AIP is a very attractive disease to clinicians in terms of its dramatic response to the oral steroid therapy in contrast to ordinary chronic pancreatitis. Although many characteristic findings of AIP have been described, definite diagnostic criteria have not been fully established. In the year 2002, the Japan Pancreas Society published the diagnostic criteria of AIP and many clinicians around the world use these criteria for the diagnosis of AIP. The diagnostic criteria proposed by the Japan Pancreas Society, however, are not completely satisfactory and some groups use their own criteria in reporting AIP. This review discusses several potential limitations of current diagnostic criteria for this increasingly recognized condition. The manuscript is organized to emphasize the need for convening a consensus to develop improved diagnostic criteria.