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World J Gastroenterol. Feb 21, 2008; 14(7): 999-1006
Published online Feb 21, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.999
Acute recurrent pancreatitis: An autoimmune disease?
Raffaele Pezzilli
Raffaele Pezzilli, Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroen-terology, Sant'Orsola-Malpighi Hospital. Bologna 40138, Italy
Correspondence to: Raffaele Pezzilli, Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Sant'Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Via Massarenti, 9, Bologna 40138, Italy.
Telephone: +39-51-6364148
Fax: +39-51-6364148
Received: August 31, 2007
Revised: October 5, 2007
Published online: February 21, 2008

In this review article, we will briefly describe the main characteristics of autoimmune pancreatitis and then we will concentrate on our aim, namely, evaluating the clinical characteristics of patients having recurrence of pain from the disease. In fact, the open question is to evaluate the possible presence of autoimmune pancreatitis in patients with an undefined etiology of acute pancreatitis and for this reason we carried out a search in the literature in order to explore this issue. In cases of recurrent attacks of pain in patients with “diopathic”pancreatitis, we need to keep in mind the possibility that our patients may have autoimmune pancreatitis. Even though the frequency of this disease seems to be quite low, we believe that in the future, by increasing our knowledge on the subject, we will be able to diagnose an ever-increasing number of patients having acute recurrence of pain from autoimmune pancreatitis.

Keywords: Pancreatitis, Autoimmune pancreatitis, Diagnosis, Therapy, Outcome