Autoimmune pancreatitis - An ongoing challenge.
Autoimmune pancreatitis is a rare form of chronic pancreatitis. The first descriptions of the disease date back to the 1990s. Etiology is multifactorial, with the use of genetic, environmental and complex immunological mechanisms. It is classified into two subtypes. Type 1 is part of a group of diseases called IgG4-related disease. Clinically is autoimmune pancreatitis manifested by icterus and abdominal discomfort. It can rarely present as acute pancreatitis. There is also a completely asymptomatic form of the disease. The diagnosis is based on abnormalities in histology, imaging methods, serology, the involvement of other organs in relation to IgG4-related disease, and a significant positive response to corticosteroid therapy. Differential diagnosis between the focal form of autoimmune pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer can be complicated, with endosonography playing an important role. In the treatment, we use corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants including biological therapy. Patients with the asymptomatic disease should also be treated to prevent late complications and exocrine and endocrine insufficiency. In addition to drug treatment, endoscopic and/or surgical treatment may be necessary. Even after recovery, the disease can relapse. The relationship between autoimmune pancreatitis and malignancies has not been clearly confirmed. The goal of this review is to provide a comprehensive look at autoimmune pancreatitis and translate latest scientific knowledge into clinical practice.