HealthDay News — For most patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP), optimized medical and interventional therapy is associated with lasting pain relief, according to a study published online April 7 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
S. Shalimar, MD, from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, and colleagues prospectively studied 313 patients with CP to examine the long-term results of optimized medical and interventional therapy with a step-up approach for pain relief. Patients were treated medically 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 92% of the patients (288) had abdominal pain. Significant pain relief was achieved in 84.7% of patients at 1-year follow-up: 52.1, 16.7, 7.6, and 8.3% with medical therapy, endoscopic therapy, surgery, and spontaneously, respectively. There was a decrease in the mean pain score from 6.36 ± 1.92 to 1.62 ± 2.10 (P<0.001). Overall, 261, 218, 112, and 51 of the 288 patients with abdominal pain were followed for 3, 5, 10, and 15 years, at which points 54.0, 57.3, 60.7, and 68.8%, respectively, became pain free.
“Significant pain relief is achieved in the majority of patients with optimized medical and interventional treatment,” the authors write.