JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Recent Advances in Autoimmune Pancreatitis

Phil A Hart, Yoh Zen, Suresh T Chari
Gastroenterology 2015, 149 (1): 39-51
25770706
Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) is a form of chronic pancreatitis that is characterized clinically by frequent presentation with obstructive jaundice, histologically by a dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate with fibrosis, and therapeutically by a dramatic response to corticosteroid therapy. Two distinct diseases, type 1 and type 2 AIP, share these features. However, these 2 diseases have unique pancreatic histopathologic patterns and differ significantly in their demographic profiles, clinical presentation, and natural history. Recognizing the popular and long-standing association of the term "AIP" with what is now called "type 1 AIP," we suggest using "AIP" solely for type 1 AIP and to acknowledge its own distinct disease status by using "idiopathic duct-centric chronic pancreatitis" (IDCP) for type 2 AIP. AIP is the pancreatic manifestation of immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD). The etiopathogenesis of AIP and IgG4-RD is largely unknown. However, the remarkable effectiveness of B-cell depletion therapy with rituximab in patients with AIP and IgG4-RD highlights the crucial role of B cells in its pathogenesis. IDCP is less commonly recognized, and little is known about its pathogenesis. IDCP has no biomarker but is associated with inflammatory bowel disease in ~25% of patients. Recently, the international consensus diagnostic criteria for AIP identified combinations of features that are diagnostic of both diseases. Both AIP and IDCP are corticosteroid responsive; however, relapses are common in AIP and rare in IDCP. Therefore, maintenance therapy with either an immunomodulator (eg, azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, or mycophenolate mofetil) or rituximab is often necessary for patients with AIP. Long-term survival is excellent for both patients with AIP and patients with IDCP.

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Joseph Martin

What distinguishable factors are there between Autoimmune Pancreatitis and frequent episodes of Acute Pancreatitis in patients with Crohn's Disease and should the treatment guidelines be different with Crohn's Disease patients?

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