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Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach. It releases the hormones, insulin and glucagon, as well as digestive enzymes that help you digest and absorb food.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

For more information, see the specific type of pancreatitis:


Symptoms may include:

Signs and tests

Tests that may be performed include:

See the specific types of pancreatitis for more information.


See the specific types of pancreatitis.

Expectations (prognosis)

See the specific types of pancreatitis.


See the specific types of pancreatitis.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have persistent abdominal pain or jaundice, with or without other symptoms.


See the specific types of pancreatitis.


Banks PA, Freeman ML; Practice Parameters Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. Practice guidelines in acute pancreatitis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006;101:2379-2400.

Frossard JL, Steer ML, Pastor CM. Acute pancreatitis. Lancet. 2008;371:143-152.

Forsmark CE. Pancreatitis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 146.

Review Date: 1/27/2012
Reviewed By: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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