Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) can be suspected if certain clinical findings are present. The authors are from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.


It may affect an adult of any age, although it tends to be more common after 50 years of age.


Clinical findings:

(1) presence of an autoimmune disease or idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease

(2) obstructive jaundice

(3) mild, vague abdominal pain

(4) unintended weight loss

(5) partial or complete response to corticosteroid therapy


Diseases associated with autoimmune pancreatitis:

(1) Sjogren's syndrome

(2) rheumatoid arthritis

(3) other autoimmune disease

(4) Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis


Imaging studies may show:

(1) either diffuse or focal pancreatic enlargement

(2) an irregular main pancreatic duct with strictures

(3) an irregular common bile duct with strictures


Differential diagnosis: pancreatic carcinoma


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