Whitcomb, D. C.
December 2004
Gut;Dec2004, Vol. 53 Issue 12, p1710
Academic Journal
The majority of pancreatic diseases are associated with genetic polymorphisms. Recent breakthroughs in understanding the origin and pathways toward pancreatic diseases, and especially acute and chronic pancreatitis, reveal that specific variation in the genomic DNA sequence of individuals strongly influence their susceptibility to pancreatitis, the severity and nature of the inflammatory process, and the likelihood of various complications. Acute pancreatitis is an event, and chronic pancreatitis is a process. They are sequentially linked with chronic pancreatitis reflecting a pathophysiological response to acute pancreatitis events. The triggers, thresholds, mechanism of injury, and immunological responses of individuals with acute and chronic pancreatitis are being organised and defined. In the future, early use of genetic testing will likely play a critical role in early diagnosis and prognosis of pancreatic diseases, and could guide new and effective preventative and therapeutic interventions. The benefits and risk of limited genetic testing have been defined by consensus conference, while the framework for future and more extensive genetic evaluation is still developing.


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