Autoimmune Pancreatitis


Autoimmune Pancreatitis(AIP) is a form of chronic pancreatitis in which body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells. There are two major subtypes of AIP, namely Type 1 & Type 2

Type 1 AIP generally affects during old age and is more common in males than in females. Whereas , in Type II AIP both males and females are equally prone to it and may occur in younger age group.

Among the two, Type 1 AIP is more common and it affects the Pancreas, Liver & the Gall bladder.

In Type 2 AIP , only Pancreas get affected and is more commonly associated with people with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease.

What are the Symptoms of AIP ?

  • Jaundice (Yellowing of the skin & eyes)
  • Pain abdomen 
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue / extreme tiredness /weakness 
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Loss of appetite 

What are the Causes of AIP?

There are no known causes of AIP, but it is thought to be caused by the body’s immune system attacking healthy body tissue.

How to diagnose AIP?

AIP can be diagnosed by using the following set of tests:

  • Liver function test : Elevated bilirubin and serum alkaline phosphatase
  • Blood test to check the levels of IgG4
  • Imaging tests like Ultrasonography, CT scan 
  • Biopsy is taken to rule out pancreatic cancer: biopsy is done by endoscopy route. Special test endoscopic ultrasound is done to evaluate the pancreas.

Treatment of AIP

If patient has jaundice, stent is placed in bile duct to relieve the jaundice.

Medicines are given to reduce the swelling of pancreas. Short courses or prolonged therapy may be required .