RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
Epidemiology of Recurrent Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis: Similarities and Differences.
Emerging data in the past few years suggest that acute, recurrent acute (RAP), and chronic pancreatitis (CP) represent a disease continuum. This review discusses the similarities and differences in the epidemiology of RAP and CP. RAP is a high-risk group, comprised of individuals at varying risk of progression. The premise is that RAP is an intermediary stage in the pathogenesis of CP, and a subset of RAP patients during their natural course transition to CP. Although many clinical factors have been identified, accurately predicting the probability of disease course in individual patients remains difficult. Future studies should focus on providing more precise estimates of the risk of disease transition in a cohort of patients, quantification of clinical events during the natural course of disease, and discovery of biomarkers of the different stages of the disease continuum. Availability of clinically relevant endpoints and linked biomarkers will allow more accurate prediction of the natural course of disease over intermediate- or long-term-based characteristics of an individual patient. These endpoints will also provide objective measures for use in clinical trials of interventions that aim to alter the natural course of disease.
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