What Do We Currently Know about the Pathophysiology of Alcoholic Pancreatitis: A Brief Review

Zorniak, M., Sirtl, S., Mayerle, J., and Beyer, G. (2020). Visc Med 36, 182-190. doi: 10.1159/000508173


Background: Alcoholic pancreatitis is a serious medical concern worldwide and remains to be one of the common causes of pancreatic disease.Summary:While alcohol consumption causes direct damage to pancreatic tissue, only a small percentage of active drinkers will develop pancreatitis. An explanation of this phenomenon is probably that alcohol increases pancreatic vulnerability to damage; however, the simultaneous presence of additional risk factors and pancreatic costressors is required to increase the risk of pancreatitis and its complications caused by alcohol misuse. Recently, a number of important genetic as well as environmental factors influencing the risk of alcoholic pancreatitis have been described.

Key Messages:In brief, this review reports established factors for the development of alcoholic pancreatitis and summarizes recent progress made in basic and clinical research.