Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammatory, usually painful disease characterized by progressive fibrosis and the loss of exocrine and endocrine functions. Pain influences the quality of life of patients and may lead to inability to work and frequent hospitalisation. The pathogenesis of pain in chronic pancreatitis is still unclear. Several different mechanisms of pain have been proposed, but pain in chronic pancreatitis is most probably multifactorial. Pain management in chronic pancreatitis is difficult. This is due to the multifactorial origin, there are no standardized methods to quantify pain and patients are often addicted to alcohol in chronic pancreatitis. This review summarises the different hypotheses of pain and the possibilities of pain management in chronic pancreatitis.
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