, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 128-135
Date: 27 Apr 2008

Pancreatitis in children and adolescents

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Several clinical and methodologic difficulties occur when diagnosing acute pancreatitis in the pediatric age group. Due to its uncommonness and heterogeneous symptoms, acute pancreatitis in children is often misdiagnosed, and prospective studies are lacking. Guidelines for classifying, diagnosing, and managing acute pancreatitis are frequently based on standards that are developed and validated in adult patients. Among the broad range of etiologies of pediatric acute pancreatitis in children, gallstones and biliary disease may play a greater role than previously believed. Although it is typically a benign disease in the pediatric population, complications such as pseudocysts may occur. When there are fatalities, they are usually attributed to systemic illness rather than the pancreatitis itself. Improvements in diagnostic and imaging methods and growing awareness cannot account for the recent increases in the observed incidence of pediatric acute pancreatitis.