Complications of chronic pancreatitis in children.

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In children, chronic pancreatitis is infrequent but may be associated with serious complications, including severe pain that limits activities, exocrine and endocrine pancreatic insufficiency and malnutrition. Investigation into pediatric chronic pancreatitis has transitioned from single center reports to multicenter, protocol-driven studies. As a result, we now have information on much larger numbers of children with chronic pancreatitis, allowing a more reliable understanding of the complications of chronic pancreatitis.A high percentage of children with chronic pancreatitis use opioids frequently to control pain. About a quarter of children with chronic pancreatitis have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and about 6% have pancreatogenic diabetes. Mild malnutrition and low bone density are both common in children with chronic pancreatitis.Large multicenter and single-center observational studies have allowed us to more accurately assess complications of chronic pancreatitis in children. These studies demonstrate the need for examination of therapies for these complications in children.

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Authors: Emily Perito, Tanja Gonska, Melena D Bellin, Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg