To assess the outcomes of drug therapy (DT) followed by pancreatic endotherapy for continuing painful episodes in recurrent acute pancreatitis. METHODS DT comprised of pancreatic enzymes and antioxidants failing which, endotherapy (ET; pancreatic sphincterotomy and stent placement) was done. The frequency of pain, its visual analogue score (VAS), quality of life (QoL), serum C peptide and faecal elastase were compared between baseline and after 1 year of follow up in all patients and in the two subgroups on DT and ET. Response was defined as at least 50% reduction in the severity of pain to below a score of 5. RESULTS Of the thirty nine patients analysed, 21 (53.9%) responded to DT and 18 (46.1%) underwent ET. The VAS for pain (7.0 ± 2.0 vs 1.3 ± 2.5, P < 0.001) and the number of days with pain per month decreased [1.0 (1.0, 2.0) vs 1.0 (0.0, 1.0), P < 0.001], and the QoL scores [55.0 (44.0, 66.0) vs 38.0 (32.00, 51.00), P < 0.01] improved significantly during follow up. Similar significant improvements were seen in patients in the subgroups of DT and ET except for QoL in ET. The serum C-peptide (P = 0.001) and FE (P < 0.001) levels improved significantly in the entire group and in the two subgroups of patients except for the C peptide levels in patients on DT. CONCLUSION A standardised protocol of DT, followed by ET decreased the intensity and frequency of pain in recurrent acute pancreatitis, enhanced QoL and improved pancreatic function.
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