Familial Pancreatitis

What is familial pancreatitis?

Familial pancreatitis, also known as hereditary pancreatitis, is a type of inflammation of the pancreas that is inherited and is usually caused by a gene mutation. Someone with familial pancreatitis may experience recurring episodes of acute pancreatitis.


Patients with hereditary pancreatitis will often experience symptoms at a young age. Symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea or oily stools


At The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, children with familiar pancreatitis are evaluated by doctors in the Division of Gastroenterology (GI), Hepatology and Nutrition.

The diagnosis of familial pancreatitis is made by radiographic and laboratory tests, physical examination, as well as a clinical history which includes discussion about family history of pancreatitis. Genetic testing for some of the pancreatitis susceptibility genes is available in some laboratories.

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