Julie V. Tsirambidis, CNP, MSN; Darwin L. Conwell, MD; Gregory Zuccaro, MD


January 09, 2003

In This Article


Chronic pancreatitis is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by fibrosis with destruction of the exocrine -- and eventually endocrine -- tissue of the pancreas (Figure 1). Chronic pancreatitis remains a major source of morbidity in the United States. Most patients with this disorder present to clinic with pain and maldigestion. According to National Health Interview Survey data, in 1998 there were over 530,000 physician office visits associated with this presentation, with a total cost of approximately $63.8 million.[1]

Figure 1.

Pancreas with fibrosis.


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