Is one more susceptible to chronic pancreatitis if one's pancreas hemorrhaged during a single inexplicable acute pancreatitis event?

About 9 years ago, I suffered from acute pancreatitis, and somehow my pancreas hemorrhaged, and I lost a lot of blood due to internal bleeding and required several blood transfusions... As I mentioned in other posts, the doctors were unable to find the source for the sudden acute pancreatitis nor what caused it to hemorrhaged (so they removed my gallbladder as a precautionary measure).

Anyway -- I was wondering if a single acute pancreatitis attack in the past that severely damaged your pancreas -- might develop into Chronic pancreatitis overtime? Is there a correlation to a one time incident to a chronic condition, which develops years later?

What are the symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis?

(And... I've never actually even taken a sip of alcohol in my life).

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is possible that one gradually develops chronic pancreatitis after a single attack of acute pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis (NIDDK)

The chronic form of pancreatitis can be triggered by one acute attack that damages the pancreatic duct. The damaged duct causes the pancreas to become inflamed. Scar tissue develops and the pancreas is slowly destroyed.

A doctor can make a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis from certain blood tests and other investigations. If chronic pancreatitis is established, further investigations to find the exact cause are warranted.

Causes of hemorrhagic pancreatitis:

  • Pseudocyst
  • Pseudoaneurysm
  • Gallstones
  • Infection
  • Anatomical abnormality of the pancreas


  • Thanks, Jan! I found that very helpful! Do you happen to know what percentage of people who had acute attacks later develop chronic pancreatitis? Jan 19, 2017 at 21:52
  • @Jan, what are the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis? Would it be about the same as acute pancreatitis, but on a milder (and obviously long-lasting) level? Jan 19, 2017 at 21:53
  • No. If you have chronic pancreatitis now, it should be obvious from certain blood tests (a doctor should know). You have mentioned another recent attack for which the exact cause was not established...But surely, something was written into your medical documentation. Try to obtain that first and read what they said it is or isn't. Another option is to ask for an ultrasound or MRI of the pancreas to check for eventual cysts or damage by that hemorrhage.
    – Jan
    Jan 19, 2017 at 21:58
  • Chronic pancreatitis - it can be a wide range from barely noticeable to disabling. Read few articles: Mayo Clinic, NIDKK or so...
    – Jan
    Jan 19, 2017 at 22:00

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