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Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2010 Jun;24(3):251-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2010.02.001.

Genetic factors in chronic pancreatitis; implications for diagnosis, management and prognosis.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, The Netherlands. <>


Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a clinical situation with persisting inflammation leading to destruction of the pancreas ensuing endocrine and exocrine failure. There are 4 subtypes: hereditary, idiopathic, alcoholic and tropical pancreatitis. Genetic factors can explain a significant proportion of CP cases. The PRSS1 gene, encoding cationic trypsinogen, was found to be correlated with hereditary CP. This signalled the extensive search for other candidate genes within the trypsin pathway. Genes like SPINK1 and CTRC are associated with CP and should be considered as important contributing factors rather than causative. The search for candidate genes not part of the trypsin pathway has been less successful and the only gene consistently associated with CP is the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator. In this review we will discuss the various CP subtypes in relation to the respective genetic variants. This review will also address the implications of genetic testing in daily clinical practise.

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