Physicians discuss how chronic pancreatitis can develop from repeated episodes of pancreatic inflammation, resulting in long term, irreversible damage to the pancreas.
They discuss how a child can transition from having acute pancreatitis to chronic pancreatitis, but that the rate of progression can depend on the child's genetic makeup.
Physicians discuss chronic pancreatitis in children which is relatively rare and stems from causes that are either obstructive or genetic in nature. They describe how obstructive causes result from abnormalities in the pancreatic tubes or ducts, but that these are generally treatable. Genetic risk factors also account for children developing chronic pancreatitis, although having risk factors does not necessarily mean that a child will develop the pancreatitis. Other factors such as environment may be a contributing factor as well.
Physicians describe chronic pancreatitis as a disease that is complex to diagnose. Diagnosis frequently relies on the assistance of imaging tools that include CT and MRI scans, endoscopic ultrasound, and ERCP. These tools used to visualize the pancreas and to determine if specific criteria for making a diagnosis are met. They note that it is important to realize that chronic pancreatitis will appear differently from one patient to the next.
Physicians discuss the use of MRCP versus ERCP as an imaging tool for diagnosing chronic pancreatitis. They explain how MRCP has a great capacity for the initial imaging of the pancreatic ducts, while ERCP serves as a viable option when surgical intervention is necessary.
Physicians discuss that chronic pancreatitis is a life long illness that unfortunately can be quite disruptive on quality of life. They also discuss recent and ongoing efforts to develop support groups that aim to connect families caring for children with chronic pancreatitis.
Physicians describe the medical treatment and endoscopic options available to patients for treating chronic pancreatitis. Since multiple needs and symptoms can arise from chronic pancreatitis, they explain that the illness should be addressed using a multidisciplinary approach in order to achieve the best patient health outcomes. Should those options fail to provide relief, surgery is also mentioned as an option.
Physicians describe how nutrition is an important consideration over the long term in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Given the vital role of the pancreas in the digestion of food, they discuss what tests and procedures may be used to measure the function of the pancreas and if any changes to diet, nutrition, or vitamin intake should be recommended based on the findings.
Physicians describe the long-term health outlook for children and teens who have chronic pancreatitis. They explain that because the disease is quite variable, some patients will manage better than others, although the majority will develop some form of chronic pain over time. Another concern discussed is the possibility for some children to develop diabetes - the onset of which is also variable. Finally, the risk of developing pancreatic cancer is of greater concern for teens due to increased opportunities for smoking and drinking.
This educational activity has been developed by:
The National Pancreas Foundation and Mechanisms in Medicine Inc.
This educational activity is supported by:
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