Chronic pancreatitis is a scarring condition of the pancreas that often results in debilitating pain. When pancreatic duct drainage appears to be impaired by the presence of a blocking stone or scar tissue, pancreatic endotherapy (procedures performed through the mouth using a lighted tube with special instruments to enter the pancreatic duct) is often offered in clinical practice. The rationale for this study is that while pancreatic endotherapy is logical, there are limited studies to suggest it helps patients with their pain. Furthermore, these procedures are costly and have potential risks. This is a preliminary study to perform the first sham (like a placebo) study of pancreatic endotherapy in patients with chronic pancreatitis and evidence of impaired pancreatic duct drainage by radiology scans.
The objectives of this study are to: 1) determine the feasibility of a sham-controlled pancreatic endotherapy trial, and 2) optimize enrollment criteria and outcome measures for a subsequent, definitive study.