December 5, 2023
Pancreatic metaplasia describes a change where the cells in a tissue have been replaced by the types of cells normally found in the pancreas. It is a non-cancerous change that is commonly found in the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel. In the esophagus and stomach, pancreatic metaplasia may be caused by the long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In pathology, metaplasia refers to a change where one type of differentiated cell is replaced by another type of differentiated cell.
Pancreatic metaplasia is a non-cancerous condition that is not serious on its own. However, it can mimic other types of abnormal growths. For this reason, doctors often perform a procedure called a biopsy to rule out more serious conditions. For example, in the esophagus, this type of change can look similar to a condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
The symptoms of pancreatic metaplasia depend on the location and size of the tissue. A small area normally does not cause any symptoms and the change is discovered incidentally when imaging such as a CT scan or upper endoscopy is performed for another reason. However, large areas can partially block the esophagus or small bowel and this can result in symptoms such as pain, bloating, bleeding, and in rare cases, small bowel obstruction.
Doctors wrote this article to assist you in reading and comprehending your pathology report. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions about this article or your pathology report. To get a comprehensive introduction to your pathology report, read this article.