Alcohol Abuse and Pancreatic Diseases: An Overview

Author(s): Raffaele Pezzilli.

Journal Name: Recent Patents on Inflammation & Allergy Drug Discovery

Volume 9 , Issue 2 , 2015

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Background: Alcohol is one of the etiological factors of chronic pancreatitis and there is evidence that acute pancreatitis is the first episode of preexisting chronic pancreatitis and is sometimes not evident from a clinical point of view. The diagnosis of acute pancreatitis is based on the presence of abdominal pain, serum increase of pancreatic enzymes or their presence in urine and/or the presence of alterations of the pancreas imaging. Aims: To revise actual knowledge on the relationship between alcohol use and pancreatic diseases benign as well as malignant. Results: In occasional drinkers, levels of serum amylase were found to be abnormally high in approximately 13% of subjects, while pancreatic isoamylase and lipase were found to be abnormally high in serum in only 2%. The reason might be related to the fact that alcohol can affect the salivary glands. In chronic alcoholics without abdominal pain, amylase and lipase in serum are elevated in 14% of subjects and, in patients with alcoholic acute pancreatitis, pancreatic amylase and isoamylase are elevated in 94% of cases and lipase is generally more sensitive (100% of cases). Conclusions: Chronic abuse of alcohol, but not occasional alcoholic intoxication, causes pancreatic damage. Regarding pancreatic neoplasms, the role of alcohol is under debate in ductal pancreatic adenocarcinoma as well as in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Few relevant patents are also described in this review.

Keywords: Acute pancreatitis, alcohol, chronic pancreatitis, inflammation, pain, pancreatic cancer, recurrent pancreatitis.

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Article Details

Year: 2015
Page: [102 - 106]
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.2174/1872213X09666150430125052
Price: $58

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