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 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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. 

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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 one-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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