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Volume 77 - 2014 - Fasc.1 - Consensus

Belgian consensus on chronic pancreatitis in adults and children : statements on diagnosis and nutritional, medical, and surgical treatment

Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is an inflammatory disorder charac- terized by inflammation and fibrosis, resulting in a progressive and irreversible destruction of exocrine and endocrine pancreatic tis- sue. Clinicians should attempt to classify patients into one of the six etiologic groups according to the TIGARO classification system. MRI/MRCP, if possible with secretin enhancement, is considered the imaging modality of choice for the diagnosis of early-stage dis- ease. In CP, pain is the most disabling symptom, with a significant impact on quality of life. Pain should be assessed using the Izbicki score and preferably treated using the "pain ladder" approach. In painful CP, endoscopic therapy (ET) can be considered as early as possible. This procedure can be combined with extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ESWL) in the presence of large (> 4 mm), obstructive stone(s) in the pancreatic head, and with ductal stent- ing in the presence of a single main pancreatic duct (MPD) stric- ture in the pancreatic head with a markedly dilated MPD. Pancre- atic stenting should be pursued for at least 12 months in patients with persistent pain relief. On-demand stent exchange should be the preferred strategy. The simultaneous placement of multiple, side-by-side, pancreatic stents can be recommended in patients with MPD strictures persisting after 12 months of single plastic stenting.