An increasing number of novel mutations are associated with chronic pancreatitis. Some cause a high-penetrance, autosomal dominant type of clinical picture (eg, mutations at codons 29 and 122 of the cationic trypsinogen gene), whereas others have a low penetrance or are frequent in the general population (eg, mutations in Kazal type 1 [SPINK1] and in codons 16, 22, and 23 of the cationic trypsinogen gene) and act as disease modifiers. The results of recent studies indicate that smoking adversely affects the course and complications of chronic pancreatitis (more frequent and faster rate of calcification and higher risk of development of pancreatic cancer). Thus, regardless of the cause of chronic pancreatis, patients with this condition should not smoke. Using current diagnostic criteria, the accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound for the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis is not good. For example, 39% of dyspeptic persons without any other evidence of chronic pancreatitis fulfilled the endoscopic ultrasound criteria for chronic pancreatitis. Diabetes frequently occurs in chronic pancreatitis, but it is not prevented or increased by pancreatic surgery. Islet cell autotransplantation holds promise for the prevention of diabetes in patients requiring total pancreatectomy if the pancreas is not extensively fibrotic. Splenic Vein occlusion is present in 7% of patients undergoing surgery for chronic pancreatitis, but fewer than one fifth of these patients have variceal bleeding before or after surgery.
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