A case of autoimmune pancreatitis effectively treated with an immunosuppressant (azathioprine)

Akane Yamabe, Atsushi Irisawa, Kenji Notohara, Goro Shibukawa, Mariko Fujisawa, Ai Sato, Yoshitsugu Yoshida, Noriyuki Arakawa, Tsunehiko Ikeda, Ryo Igarashi, Takumi Maki, Shogo Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The patient was a 42-year-old man who presented at our hospital with obstructive jaundice. Although antinuclear antibody test results were negative, and immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) was not elevated, endoscopic ultrasound revealed a mixed internal hyperechoic and diffuse hypoechoic pattern, a finding consistent with autoimmune pancreatitis. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography further revealed irregular narrowing of the main pancreatic duct and sclerosing cholangitis with distal biliary stricture. In addition, endoscopic ultrasound with fine needle aspiration cytology resulted in a diagnosis of type 1 autoimmune pancreatitis. Oral prednisolone treatment was initiated at 30 mg/day, and the dosage was gradually decreased. However, in accordance with the patient’s wishes, maintenance treatment was discontinued once dosage reached 5 mg/day. Despite this, relapse of obstructive jaundice occurred 1 month post discontinuation, and was treated with methyl-prednisolone pulse therapy (500 mg/day) followed by oral prednisolone. However, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and endoscopic ultrasound did not reveal sufficient improvement after 6 months of treatment. Therefore, an immunosuppressant (azathioprine) was introduced. Subsequent imaging analyses and endoscopic ultrasound fine needle aspiration revealed clear improvements in pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-328
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmune pancreatitis
  • Azathioprine
  • Immunosuppressant


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