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World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol. May 15, 2014; 5(2): 82-90
Published online May 15, 2014. doi: 10.4291/wjgp.v5.i2.82
Alcoholic pancreatitis: A tale of spirits and bacteria
Alain Vonlaufen, Laurent Spahr, Minoti V Apte, Jean-Louis Frossard
Alain Vonlaufen, Gastroenterology Unit, Hôpital de la Tour, 1217 Meyrin/Genève, Switzerland
Alain Vonlaufen, Laurent Spahr, Jean-Louis Frossard, Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Minoti V Apte, Pancreatic Research Group, South Western Sydney Clinical School, The Ingham Institute, Liverpool, NSW 2170, Australia
Minoti V Apte, Faculty of Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Author contributions: Vonlaufen A wrote the manuscript and created the figure; Spahr L, Apte MV and Frossard JL critically appraised the manuscript and made additional suggestions.
Correspondence to: Jean-Louis Frossard, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Geneva University Hospital, 4, rue Gabrielle Perret-Gentil, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland. jean-louis.frossard@hcuge.ch
Telephone: +41-22-3729340 Fax: +41-22-3729366
Received: October 28, 2013
Revised: April 4, 2014
Accepted: April 25, 2014
Published online: May 15, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: There is now clear clinical and experimental evidence that bacteria and bacterial products (such as endotoxin) are associated with complications of pancreatitis. Furthermore, results of animal studies support the concept that bacterial endotoxin is an important factor in the initiation and progression of alcoholic pancreatitis.