Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Alcoholic Pancreatitis

  • Dahn L. Clemens
  • Katrina J. Schneider
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7054-2


Pancreatitis associated with alcohol abuse.


The pancreas is a dual-function abdominal organ that produces both proteins that aid digestion (digestive enzymes) and hormones responsible for the regulation of sugar in the blood. These two functions are carried out by distinct populations of cells. Pancreatic digestive enzymes are produced by cells known as acinar cells. Approximately 90 % of the pancreas is made up of these cells, which comprise what is known as the exocrine pancreas. Dispersed throughout the exocrine pancreas are distinct “islands” of specialized cells known as the islets of Langerhans. The islets of Langerhans are clusters of cells that produce and secrete insulin and other hormones involved in regulating the levels of sugar in the blood. The islets of Langerhans comprise what is known as the endocrine pancreas.

Pancreatitis is an inflammatorydisease of the exocrine pancreas that is initiated by the premature activation and intracellular...


Acute Pancreatitis Chronic Pancreatitis Alcohol Abuse Acinar Cell Oxidative Metabolism 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Service, Veterans Administration Medical CenterOmahaUSA