Individual susceptibility to alcoholic pancreatitis

By: Minoti V Apte, Romano C Pirola and Jeremy S Wilson
Pancreatic Research Group, South-western Sydney Clinical School, Liverpool Hospital and The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Abstract
The observation that only a minority of heavy drinkers develop pancreatitis has prompted
an intensive search for a trigger factor/cofactor/susceptibility factor that may precipitate a
clinical attack. Putative susceptibility factors examined so far include diet, smoking,
amount and type of alcohol consumed, the pattern of drinking and lipid intolerance. In
addition, a range of inherited factors have been assessed including blood group antigens,
human leukocyte antigen serotypes, alpha-1-antitrypsin phenotypes and several genotypes.

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