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Disease Profile

Pancreatitis, pediatric

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable



Pediatric pancreatitis is a condition that causes the pancreas to become inflamed in children. Acute refers to conditions that occur suddenly and have a short course. Symptoms of acute pediatric pancreatitis may include stomach pain, persistent vomiting, and fever.[1] Common causes include blunt abdominal injury, structural defects (e.g., pancreas divisum), medications, viruses, and gallstones.[2][1] Acute pediatric pancreatitis may also be associated with systemic disease (e.g., hemolytic uremic syndrome). If left untreated acute pancreatitis can progress to the chronic form which is more persistent and involves inflammation and scarring of the pancreas.


Children with acute pancreatitis may experience stomach pain, persistent vomiting, and fever. Their abdomen may be distended and tender. The pain increases in intensity for 24 to 48 hours, during which time vomiting may increase and the child may require hospitalization for dehydration.[1]

Severe acute pancreatitis is rare in children. This form of pancreatitis can become life-threatening. In addition to the symptoms listed above, these children may have ascites, jaundice, hypocalcemia, shock, and pleural effusions. A bluish discoloration may be seen around the belly button or on the side.[1]


All families with children with pediatric pancreatitis should work with their child's health care team in developing a treatment plan. For cases of uncomplicated acute pediatric pancreatitis the aims of treatment are to relieve pain and stabilize the child’s metabolism. Pain medication is given and fluid, electrolyte, and mineral balance is restored and maintained.[1]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Organizations Providing General Support

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      Where to Start

        In-Depth Information

        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Pancreatitis, pediatric. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


          1. Werlin SL. Pancreatitis. In: Behrman RE, Kliegman RM, Jenson HB, eds. Behrman: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 17th ed. United States: Saunders, An Imprint of Elseiver;2004..
          2. Whitcomb DC. Hereditary, Familial, and Genetic Disorders of the Pancreas and Pancreatic Disorders in Childhood. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ. Feldman: Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 8th ed.. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2006;

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