Curbside Consultation of the Pancreas: 49 Clinical Questions

Scott Tenner, MD, MPH; Alphonso Brown, MD, MS Clin Epi; Frank Gress, MD

Question 20: When Should One Suspect Autoimmune Pancreatitis As A Cause Of Acute Or Chronic Pancreatitis? (continued)

Jonathan Ari Erber, MD; William Franklin Erber, MD

In order to make the diagnosis of autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP), the clinician needs to have a high index of suspicion. Although the classic patient is an elderly male presenting with obstructive jaundice and a pancreatic mass, mimicking pancreatic cancer, the disorder appears to be far more heterogeneous with a myriad of presentations, including pancreatic strictures, fullness to the pancreas, and idiopathic acute pancreatitis. AIP is a rare form of chronic pancreatitis of presumed autoimmune etiology. Sarles et al1 first reported pancreatitis associated with hypergammaglobulinemia in 1961…