In a comparative study of tropical chronic pancreatitis (TCP) and alcoholic chronic pancreatitis (ACP) occurring in the same population, we analyzed the clinical profile of 50 patients of ACP seen over the past 3 years at our centers and compared this with the profile of our TCP patients. A majority (75%) of patients in both groups belonged to Tamil Nadu and 90% had never consumed cassava. Whereas TCP occurred in young subjects of both sexes, ACP patients were all males and presented at an older age. The frequency of pain, diabetes, and pancreatic calcification was similar in the two groups. Patients in both groups were lean, but signs of severe malnutrition were rare. Prediabetic patients had normal body mass index. There were striking differences in radiological appearance of pancreatic calculi in TCP and ACP. Malignancy of the pancreas was present in three patients with TCP. Benign bile duct stenosis was seen in three patients with ACP but not in TCP. Compared to ACP seen in the West, our ACP patients had a shorter duration of symptoms in spite of having advanced disease. TCP and ACP have distinct clinical profiles and it is possible that some environmental factors may hasten the progress of ACP in the tropics.
- Alcoholic chronic pancreatitis
- Tropical chronic pancreatitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism