Background: We attempted to determine the indications and limitations of steroid therapy as the first-line therapy in patients with autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) with cyst formation (ACF). Methods: This Japanese multicenter survey was conducted to examine the merits/demerits of steroid treatment as the initial therapy for ACF. Results: Data of a total of 115 patients with ACF were analyzed. Complete remission was achieved in 86% (86/100) of patients who had received steroid treatment, but only 33.3% (5/15) of patients who had not received steroids. Relapse after the remission (n = 86) occurred in 7.6% (6/86) of patients who had received steroid therapy, but 40% (2/5) of patients who had not received steroid therapy. Multivariate analysis identified adoption of the wait and watch approach without steroid treatment (odds ratio = 0.126, P <.001) as a significant and independent negative predictor of remission of ACF. As for predictors of relapse, the presence of varix (odds ratio = 5.83, P =.036) was identified as an independent risk factor. Conclusion: Steroid therapy plays an important role as first-line therapy in AIP patients with pancreatic cyst formation, however, varix formation, besides the diameter of the cyst(s), is a risk factor for refractoriness to steroid therapy.
- autoimmune pancreatitis
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