, Volume 40, Issue 7, pp 1561-1568

Chronic pancreatitis caused by an autoimmune abnormality

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Several authors have reported a case of chronic pancreatitis associated with Sjögren's syndrome in which an autoimmune mechanism may have been involved in the etrology and in which steroid therapy was effective. We recently encountered a patient with pancreatitis who had hyperglobulinemia, was autoantibody-positive, and responded to steroid therapy. This patient, however, failed to show any evidence of association with Sjögren's syndrome or other collagen diseases. Although the concept of autoimmune hepatitis and the criteria for diagnosing it have been established, autoimmune pancreatitis has not yet been defined as a clinical entity. We report a case of chronic pancreatitis in which an autoimmune mechanism is involved in the etiology and summarize the cases of pancreatitis suspected of being caused by an autoimmune mechanism in the Japanese and English literature.