Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Gastroenterol. 1997 Jul;92(7):1113-6.

Clinical characteristics of hereditary pancreatitis in a large family, based on high-risk haplotype. The Midwest Multicenter Pancreatic Study Group (MMPSG)

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.



Because there are no markers for hereditary pancreatitis (HP), diagnosis has relied on clinical features and inferences. Identification of the HP disease gene locus on chromosome 7q35 provides the first genetic marker for HP, allowing an accurate comparison of the clinical diagnosis of HP with the presence of a high-risk HP haplotype. Our objectives were to compare the clinical diagnosis of HP with inheritance of the HP gene and to characterize the common clinical features.


A detailed questionnaire was administered to 102 study participants of a large HP kindred. Blood samples were taken for DNA extraction and high-risk haplotype determination. Clinical findings were compared with the presence of a high-risk haplotype.


A family tree of more than 500 members and eight generations was constructed, and clinical features of the 102 participants were determined. HP occurred before the age of 5 yr in 58% of subjects, who presented with common symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, and frequent attacks. Thirty-five probands, of whom 80% had clinical symptoms, carried the high-risk haplotype, confirming previous estimates of 80% penetrance. Thirty-two of the study participants had been clinically diagnosed with HP, whereas 70 were clinically unaffected. With regard to the presence of the high-risk haplotype, 87.5% of the clinically diagnosed patients were affected by HP (true positive), whereas 12.5% did not carry the high-risk haplotype (false positive). Seven obligate carriers were identified through DNA analysis; three had previously been unrecognized because of lack of affected offspring.


The diagnosis of hereditary pancreatitis on clinical grounds alone may be inaccurate in less severe cases, as is the exclusion of carrier status through family tree analysis. Therefore, a definitive diagnosis of hereditary pancreatitis in equivocal cases or exclusion of a carrier state should include analysis of genetic markers.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center