Die autoimmune pankreatitis - Eine chirurgische krankheit?

Translated title of the contribution: Autoimmune pancreatitis - A surgical disease?

J. Kleeff, T. Welsch, I. Esposito, M. Löhr, R. Singer, M. W. Büchler, H. Friess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The term autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) describes a nonalcoholic, chronic lymphoplasmocytic pancreatitis. The lymphoplasmocytic infiltration is characterized by periductal localization of predominantly CD4-positive T cells, fibrosis, and acinar atrophy, frequently resulting in stenosis of the main pancreatic and distal common bile ducts. Imaging studies often reveal a diffuse narrowing of the pancreatic main duct and swelling of the pancreatic head wrongly suggesting the presence of a malignant tumor. Clinical signs include mild abdominal pain, jaundice, recurrent episodes of acute pancreatitis, and even new-onset diabetes mellitus. Additionally, AIP can be associated with other autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome, primary sclerosing cholangitis, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, and retroperitoneal fibrosis. Serological markers include autoantibodies and increased levels of gamma globulin and especially IgG4. Steroids seem to be effective in improving clinical symptoms as well as in the resolution of pancreatic and bile duct narrowing. This distinguishes AIP from other forms of pancreatitis and from pancreatic neoplasms. Further studies of the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms, prognosis, and new diagnostic tools are needed to provide adequate and effective treatment in the future. In this article, we summarize the current knowledge about AIP and present 17 cases that underwent surgical resection at our institution from 2003 to 2004.

Translated title of the contributionAutoimmune pancreatitis - A surgical disease?
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)154-165
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


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