HealthDay News — For most patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP), optimized medical and interventional treatment is associated with significant pain relief, according to a study published online on January 4 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.1

For the study, researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi enrolled 313 consecutive patients with CP (92% with abdominal pain) who were treated with a well-balanced diet, pancreatic enzymes, and antioxidants. If medical therapy failed, patients were offered endoscopic therapy and/or surgery.

The researchers found that the etiology of CP was idiopathic in 71.6% of the patients and alcohol in 26.2%. Significant pain relief was achieved at 1-year follow-up in 84.7% of patients: 52.1, 16.7, 7.6, and 8.3%, respectively, with medical therapy, endoscopic therapy, surgery, and spontaneously. There was a significant decrease in the mean pain score, from 6.36 ± 1.92 to 1.62 ± 2.1. Among the 261, 218, 112, and 51 patients with abdominal pain followed up for 3, 5, 10, and 15 years, 54, 57.3, 60.7, and 68.8%, respectively, became pain-free at follow-up.

“Significant pain relief is achieved in the majority of patients with optimized medical and interventional treatment,” the authors write.

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  1. Shalimar, Midha S, Hasan A, Dhingra R, Garg PK. Long-term pain relief with optimized medical treatment including antioxidants and step-up interventional therapy in patients with chronic pancreatitis. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017;32(1):270-277.