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Molecular Characteristics of Autoimmune Pancreatitis

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For many years, a pathological immune response has been implicated in the development of chronic pancreatitis. However, only in the last decade autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) has been recognized as a distinct entity with typical histopathological and immunological findings. AIP is frequently associated with other autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren's syndrome, sclerosing extra-hepatic cholangitis and retroperitoneal fibrosis. Although AIP is rare, improved diagnostics is of significant clinical interest because of the prompt response to steroid treatment. In this review, we describe the characteristic features of AIP and focus on the molecular pathogenesis of the disease.

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Keywords: Autoimmune pancreatitis; molecular pathogenesis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Medical Faculty, University of Rostock, E.-Heydemann-Str. 6, 18057 Rostock, Germany.

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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