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Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. It usually occurs when pancreatic enzymes are activated in the pancreas instead of the small intestine.
The presence of gallstones that may block the ducts, chronic alcohol consumption, some forms of infections, and medicaments are among the main causes for pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis can be classified as:
- Acute, appearing suddenly and lasting a few days, or
- Chronic, which is progressive and occurs over many years.
The characteristic symptom of the pancreatitis is a pain in the upper part of the abdomen that can also radiate to the back. It is usually more intense after eating.
Patients with chronic pancreatitis have an elevated risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Doctors may order the following tests and procedures to confirm the diagnosis:
- Blood tests (lipase and amylase levels).
- Abdominal ultrasound.
- MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) scan.
- ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography) scan .
- CT scan.
Pancreatitis Healthcare Centers