Autoimmune Pancreatitis (AIP)

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Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP), is actually the chronic inflammation thought to be caused by the immune system of the body. It attacks the pancreas and the disease responds to steroid therapy. Autoimmune pancreatitis is actually a rare and newly recognized disease which at times will be mistakenly diagnosed as cancer in pancreas. There are two types of autoimmune pancreatitis yet both conditions have the same signs and symptoms. However, it has very different treatments. This is the reason why it is very much important to differentiate one from another. AIP usually occurs in less than 1 in 1 lakh people. It develops in individuals usually between 50 and 60 years of age, yet however it can occur sooner. Men get affected by AIP twice as women in probability.

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Autoimmune Pancreatitis (AIP)

Autoimmune Pancreatitis Types:

There are actually two types of autoimmune pancreatitis and they are as follows:
  • Autoimmune Pancreatitis Type 1: It is a very common type of AIP. It affects the pancreas as well as other organs in the body, which includes the liver as well as the gallbladder. This type of AIP responds well to steroids treatment. Type 1 AIP has also the probability to relapse if your treatment is stopped
  • Autoimmune Pancreatitis Type 2: Type 2 AIP is associated with inflammatory bowel issue or disease

Autoimmune Pancreatitis Diagnosis and Treatment:

Autoimmune pancreatitis disease usually involves the following treatment procedures: Prior to the Treatment:
  • In order to determine the diagnosis for the type of AIP that you have, your doctor will advise you to take blood as well as imaging tests prior to the treatment
  • Pancreas tests, as well as other organ imaging tests that include CT, MRI, EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasound) as well as ERCP or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, will be carried out.
  • Your doctor will ask you to take blood tests especially for elevated levels of your immunoglobulin which is called IgG4.
  • Post which endoscopic core biopsy will be asked by your doctor to be taken. 
  • In this endoscopic core biopsy test, the sample of your pancreatic tissue will be analyzed by the pathologists in the laboratory. 
  • For the procedure, your doctor will insert a small tube, also called an endoscope through your mouth into your stomach. It is guided by ultrasound, in order to remove tissue from your pancreas by using a needle.
  • The steroidal trial will also be carried out by your doctor to confirm the diagnosis
During the Treatment:
  • In order to drain the biliary ducts also called as biliary stenting, your doctor will insert a small tube in people who has the symptoms of jaundice
  • During cases where steroid treatment isn’t effective, drainage will be recommended
  • Additional treatment in order to help minimize the side effects that is associated with prolonged steroid use, doctors will often add drugs that can suppress or modify the immune system. It is at times called as steroid-sparing medications 
  • Supplementary enzymes will also be prescribed by your doctors such as Creon, Pancreaze and Pertzye
Prognosis, Post-Treatment and Recovery:
  • You will be asked by your doctor to carry on with steroid therapy for many years in order to stop the signs and symptoms from appearing
  • Your doctor will monitor you continuously, although the signs and symptoms go away completely with the help of steroid therapy

Autoimmune Pancreatitis Life Expectancy:

Autoimmune pancreatitis usually does not affect your life expectancy. In most of cases. Certain people will be advised to continue steroid therapy for many years in order to keep symptoms from returning. Apart from that, with successful management, individuals with the disease can live an active as well as healthy lives. Autoimmune Pancreatitis Risk Factors: The risk factors of Autoimmune Pancreatitis based on types are as follows:
  • Type 1: People over 60 years and especially men are in high risk of getting the disease
  • Type 2: People over 40 years, men and female have high risk of having inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis

Autoimmune Pancreatitis Complications:

Few of the complications of autoimmune pancreatitis are as follows:
  • Pancreatic Insufficiency: Autoimmune pancreatitis usually might affect the pancreatic ability in order to make more enzymes. Few signs such as diarrhea, weight loss, and metabolic bone disease will be the complications.
  • Diabetes: Since the pancreas produces insulin, AIP may cause diabetes,. It might need treatment either with oral-based medication or through insulin.
  • Pancreatic calcifications or stones.


The symptoms of autoimmune pancreatitis are as follows:

  • Jaundice
  • Growth or mass in the pancreas
  • Stomach ache
  • Loss of weight
  • Backache
  • Extreme tiredness or fatigue
  • Dark urine
  • Pale stools
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Appetite loss


Doctors actually don’t know exactly what causes autoimmune pancreatitis, however, in certain other autoimmune cases (diseases), the healthy body tissue is actually affected by the body's immune system.


1. What is the diet for autoimmune pancreatitis?

High protein and nutrient-rich diets such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as other lean protein sources are the diet for autoimmune pancreatitis.

2. What is the serology for autoimmune pancreatitis?

IgG4-positive plasma cells are usually considered to be the marker for AIP. It is usually detected in the pancreas as well as in a variety of many tissues. Apart from that, serum IgG4 levels are usually elevated to two times more than the upper limit  which is actually normal in most patients.

3. What is the antibody for autoimmune pancreatitis?

Carbonic Anhydrase as well as Lactoferrin. Apart from that, Anti-CA-IIAb as well as anti-LF antibodies are the very most detected antibodies in AIP.

4. Is autoimmune pancreatitis life threatening?

No, individuals treated for AIP or autoimmune pancreatitis have a very normal life expectancy.

5. What is the difference between autoimmune pancreatitis vs pancreatic cancer?

Findings that suggest autoimmune disease other than pancreatic cancer include: fluctuating obstructive jaundice and high or elevated serum IgG4 levels. However, both are not the same, though they mimic each other.