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80% of cases of acute pancreatitis are mild and resolve without sequelae. The remaining 20% have serious episodes of abdominal complications (e.g. acute or chronic collections or splenoportal axis thrombosis) or failure of other organs (e.g. kidney, lung or the cardiovascular system). Overall mortality of acute pancreatitis is 10%, which can reach 30% in severe cases.
Chronic pancreatitis has an evolution that significantly affects the quality of life of patients. Abdominal pain often greatly limits daily life, leading to repeated absenteeism from work, frequent hospital admissions, continued use of painkillers and sometimes the need for complex pancreatic surgery. The pain may subside spontaneously over the years, most often in cases of chronic pancreatitis caused by alcohol and tobacco. Over the years, the development of exocrine and endocrine insufficiency is quite common. The risk of pancreatic cancer is higher in patients with chronic pancreatitis, which increases with age. It is estimated that 4% of patients with chronic pancreatitis develop pancreatic cancer after 20 years of follow-up.
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