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My two-year-old daughter has pancreatitis. What are the chances that she will develop this again? I understand that that this is rare in children and we are concerned with the possibility of this happening again. What has been found in other children with CdLS who have had pancreatitis? Can it be chronic?

Answer of our experts

Acute pancreatitis has been associated with many different etiologies, such as infections (mostly viral), certain medications, some metabolic conditions, gallstones/biliary sludging, and secondary to underlying anatomy. Sometimes, no etiology can be identified

Most cases of acute pancreatitis resolve in about 5-7 days, with no long-term problems or recurrences. There is a smaller subset of children who will go onto have recurrent episodes of acute pancreatitis or develop chronic symptoms. They will have to undergo further diagnostic evaluations to search for any of the known etiologies or genetic predispositions. While I have not personally heard of any children with CdLS having recurrent or chronic pancreatitis, we know that some children have been found to have variations in their pancreatic ductal (drainage system) anatomy that may predispose them to have pancreatitis

Less commonly, someone may have an exceptionally severe episode of pancreatitis (necrotizing pancreatitis), with extensive inflammation and destruction of the pancreas and systemic illness. Anecdotally, I have taken care of and we (the Foundation) have heard of other children with CdLS having necrotizing pancreatitis (which as mentioned, is rather uncommon in children with pancreatitis). Individuals with necrotizing pancreatitis need close follow-up as they are at risk for complications (such as pseudocyst development or pancreatic insufficiency)

LG/TK 7-13-10

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