Chronic abdominal pain.The patient is an alcoholic.
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Plain abdominal radiograph shows coarse calcification in the distribution of the pancreas.
Pancreatic calcifications are a specific imaging features of chronic pancreatitis.
Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by progressive pancreatic damage that eventually leads to impairment of both exocrine and endocrine functions of the pancreas. The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis in Western societies is alcohol abuse.
Pancreatic cancer (commonest types) typically does not calcify, but can be associated with underlying chronic calcific pancreatitis. Islet cell tumors can be associated with calcific pancreas (rare).