Published online Jul 21, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i27.4342
Peer-review started: April 6, 2021
First decision: May 27, 2021
Revised: June 3, 2021
Accepted: June 17, 2021
Article in press: June 17, 2021
Published online: July 21, 2021
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a progressive condition caused by several factors and characterised by pancreatic fibrosis and dysfunction. However, CP is difficult to diagnose at an early stage. Various advanced methods including endoscopic ultrasound based elastography and confocal laser endomicroscopy have been used to diagnose early CP, although no unified diagnostic standards have been established. In the past, the diagnosis was mainly based on imaging, and no comprehensive evaluations were performed. This review describes and compares the advantages and limitations of the traditional and latest diagnostic modalities and suggests guidelines for the standardisation of the methods used to diagnose early CP.
Core Tip: Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a progressive disease that is difficult to diagnose at an early stage. This review evaluates the characteristics, strengths, and limitations of modalities for the diagnosis of early CP. This paper will be of interest to the readership because the information presented here highlights multiple novel strategies, such as elastography and confocal laser endomicroscopy, some of which require further research and development to improve the diagnostic efficiency. This review will be highly beneficial for researchers and clinicians focusing on the management of this condition.