Last reviewed 03/2022

Morphological patterns commonly seen in chronic pancreatitis include:

  • chronic calcifying pancreatitis - an irregular, lobular, spotty distribution of calcification within the pancreatic parenchyma. The acini are atrophic with increased interlobular fibrous tissue. Pseudocyst formation is common. This pattern is usually seen in alcoholics.

  • chronic obstructive pancreatitis - with inflammation of varying severity to the left of the obstruction and normal or near normal pancreas to the right. Calcification is rare and protein plugs are uncommon. The changes are more prominent in the head of the pancreas. This pattern is usually seen in cases associated with congenital anomalies or previous acute inflammation.

  • minimal change - changes are microscopic, in the acinar architecture, rather than macroscopically. Usually follows an attack of proven acute pancreatitis.

  • phlegmon

  • pseudocyst

  • abscess