Pharmacological management of pain in chronic pancreatitis

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nymegen, Gelderland, Netherlands
Digestive and Liver Disease (Impact Factor: 2.89). 08/2006; 38(7):518-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.dld.2006.02.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pain is the major presenting symptom of chronic pancreatitis. Patients with chronic pancreatitis experience substantial impairments in health-related quality of life. Pain may be considered as the most important factor affecting the quality of life. The pathogenesis of pancreatic pain is poorly understood. The cause of pain in chronic pancreatitis is probably multifactorial. This article discusses the various hypotheses that have been suggested to underlie pain. Special attention is paid to the concept of autonomous central sensitisation and hyperalgesia as a cause of pain. Strict abstinence from alcohol is the first step of chronic pancreatic pain management. As a second step, it is important to exclude treatable complications of chronic pancreatitis, such as pseudocysts. Symptomatic treatment with analgesics is often unavoidable in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and eventually opioids are suitable. Several trials have been performed with pancreatic enzymes, but a meta-analysis demonstrated no significant benefit in terms of pain relief. The treatment of chronic pancreatic pain requires a multidisciplinary approach that tailors the various therapeutic options to meet the need of the individual patient.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although medical treatment and endoscopic interventions are primarily offered to patients with chronic pancreatitis, approximately 40% to 75% will ultimately require surgery during the course of their disease. Although pancreaticoduodenectomy has been considered the standard surgical procedure because of its favorable results on pain control, its high postoperative complication and pancreatic exocrine or/and endocrine dysfunction rates have led to a growing enthusiasm for duodenal preserving pancreatic head resection. The aim of this review is to better understand the rationale underlying of the Frey procedure in chronic pancreatitis and to analyze its outcome. Because of its hybrid nature, combining both resection and drainage, the Frey procedure has been conceptualized based on the pathophysiology of chronic pancreatitis. The short and long-term outcome, especially pain relief and quality of life, are better after the Frey procedure than after any other surgical procedure performed for chronic pancreatitis.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is an inflammatory disease that causes irreversible damage to pancreatic tissue. Pain is its most prominent symptom. In the absence of pathology suitable for endoscopic or surgical interventions, pain treatment usually includes opioids. However, opioids often have limited efficacy. Moreover, side effects are common and bothersome. Hence, novel approaches to control pain associated with CP are highly desirable. Sensitisation of the central nervous system is reported to play a key role in pain generation and chronification. Fundamental to the process of central sensitisation is abnormal activation of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor, which can be antagonised by S-ketamine. The RESET trial is investigating the analgaesic and antihyperalgesic effect of S-ketamine in patients with CP. 40 patients with CP will be enrolled. Patients are randomised to receive 8 h of intravenous S-ketamine followed by oral S-ketamine, or matching placebo, for 4 weeks. To improve blinding, 1 mg of midazolam will be added to active and placebo treatment. The primary end point is clinical pain relief as assessed by a daily pain diary. Secondary end points include changes in patient-reported outcome measures, opioid consumption and rates of side effects. The end points are registered through the 4-week medication period and for an additional follow-up period of 8 weeks to investigate long-term effects. In addition, experimental pain measures also serves as secondary end points, and neurophysiological imaging parameters are collected. Furthermore, experimental baseline recordings are compared to recordings from a group of healthy controls to evaluate general aspects of pain processing in CP. The protocol is approved by the North Denmark Region Committee on Health Research Ethics (N-20130040) and the Danish Health and Medicines Authorities (EudraCT number: 2013-003357-17). The results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and at scientific conferences. The study is registered at (EudraCT number 2013-003357-17). Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to
    BMJ Open 03/2015; 5(3):e007087. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007087 · 2.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic abdominal pain is common in chronic pancreatitis (CP) and may involve altered central pain processing. This study evaluated the relationship between pain processing and pain outcome after pancreatic duct decompression and/or pancreatic resection in patients with CP. Patients with CP underwent quantitative sensory testing. Pain processing was measured via electrical pain detection (ePDT) and electrical pain tolerance (ePTT) thresholds in dermatomes C5 and L4. Inhibitory descending pain control mechanisms were assessed using the conditioned pain modulation (CPM) paradigm. Healthy controls and patients with CP were compared, and patients with CP and a poor pain outcome (visual analogue scale (VAS) score greater than 30) were compared with those with a good pain outcome (VAS score 30 or less). Forty-eight patients with CP had lower ePDT, ePTT and CPM responses compared with values in 15 healthy controls (P < 0·030). The sum of ePDT values was lower in patients with a poor pain outcome than in those with a good outcome (median 7·1 versus 11·2 mA; P = 0·008). There was a correlation with the VAS score and the sum of ePDT values (rs = -0·45, P = 0·016) and ePTT values (rs = -0·46, P = 0·011), and CPM response (rs = -0·43, P = 0·006) in patients with CP. After pain-relieving pancreatic surgery, patients with CP exhibit altered central pain processing compared with that in healthy controls. Poor pain outcomes are associated with more central sensitization and more pronociceptive descending pain modulation, and this should be considered when managing persistent pain after pain-relieving surgery for CP. Presented in part to the 7th Alpine Liver and Pancreatic Surgery Meeting, Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, January 2012, and the American Pancreatic Association/International Association of Pancreatology Joint Annual Meeting, Miami, Florida, USA, October-November 2012; published in abstract form as Pancreas 2012; 41: 1350.
    British Journal of Surgery 12/2013; 100(13):1797-804. DOI:10.1002/bjs.9322 · 5.21 Impact Factor