Autoimmune pancreatitis: A challenging diagnostic puzzle for clinicians

E. Buscarini, L. Frulloni, S. De Lisi, M. Falconi, P. A. Testoni, A. Zambelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autoimmune pancreatitis is a form of pancreatitis with autoimmune stigmata that may present as either focal or diffuse gland involvement. In focal forms, autoimmune pancreatitis shares demographic, clinical, biochemical and imaging features with pancreatic cancer. Since autoimmune pancreatitis is a benign disease and steroid therapy can rapidly resolve symptoms, improve radiological findings and avoid unnecessary surgery, the current clinical challenge is how to differentiate autoimmune pancreatitis from pancreatic neoplasia. Even though definitive diagnosis of the disease is difficult, several diagnostic criteria have been proposed and progress has been made in imaging studies. The management of this unique form of pancreatitis should, therefore, be handled in centres with knowledge of all aspects of the disease. This article briefly reviews clinical aspects of autoimmune pancreatitis with a focus on its diagnostic imaging and management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Autoimmune
  • Pancreatic biopsy
  • Pancreatic imaging
  • Pancreatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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