Complications and Outcome
§In response to a meal, the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes in an alkaline (pH 8.4) bicarbonate-rich fluid.
§The proteolytic enzymes are secreated in an inactive form, the maintenance of this is important in preventing pancreatitis.
§Due to many causes, pancreatic pro-enzymes will be activated, and not released to the duodenum, so they will return back to the pancreas in the active form and cause autodigestion of the pancreas, which in turn will lead to an acute inflammatory reaction.
§Acute pancreatitis accounts for 3% of all cases of abdominal pain.
§The disease may occur at any age, with a peak in young men and older women.