Focus Areas of Research

  • Pain mechanisms in chronic pancreatitis
  • Pain treatment in chronic pancreatitis
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Imaging and biomarkers of pancreatic diseases
  • Nutritional assessment and treatment of pancreatic diseases
  • Epidemiology of pancreatic diseases

Pancreatic diseases are multifaceted syndromes characterized by multiple risk-factors and a complex symptomatology. They remain miraculous diseases which challenges the life of affected individuals, treating health care professionals and health care systems due to their increasing incidence and lack of curative treatment. Our overall research focus is clinical pancreatology, with a special interest in pain and chronic pancreatitis. We have many years of expertise in conducting clinical experimental investigations and randomized controlled trials. The Pancreatology Research Unit is fully academic and part of Centre for Pancreatic Diseases established at Aalborg University Hospital in 2016; this unique position ensures a close connection between the research unit and daily clinical practice.

Responsible Researcher

Associate Professor Søren Schou Olesen, MD, PhD

Selected Publications


  1. Olesen SS, Brock C, Krarup AL, Funch-Jensen P, Arendt-Nielsen L, Wilder-Smith OH, et al. Descending inhibitory pain modulation is impaired in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2010;8:724–30. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2010.03.005.
  2. Olesen SS, Bouwense S a W, Wilder-Smith OHG, van Goor H, Drewes AM. Pregabalin reduces pain in patients with chronic pancreatitis in a randomized, controlled trial. Gastroenterology 2011;141:536–43. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2011.04.003.
  3. Olesen SS, Graversen C, Olesen a E, Frøkjaer JB, Wilder-Smith O, van Goor H, et al. Randomised clinical trial: pregabalin attenuates experimental visceral pain through sub-cortical mechanisms in patients with painful chronic pancreatitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011;34:878–87. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04802.x.
  4. Bouwense SA, Olesen SS, Drewes AM, Poley JW, van Goor H, Wilder-Smith OH. Effects of pregabalin on central sensitization in patients with chronic pancreatitis in a randomized, controlled trial. PLoS One 2012;7:e42096.
  5. Olesen SS, Graversen C, Bouwense SAW, van Goor H, Wilder-Smith OHG, Drewes AM. Quantitative sensory testing predicts pregabalin efficacy in painful chronic pancreatitis. PLoS One 2013;8:e57963. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057963.
  6. Olesen SS, Juel J, Nielsen AK, Frøkjær JB, Wilder-Smith OHG, Drewes AM. Pain severity reduces life quality in chronic pancreatitis: Implications for design of future outcome trials. Pancreatology 2014;14:497–502. doi:10.1016/j.pan.2014.09.009.
  7. Olesen SS, Poulsen JL, Broberg MCH, Madzak A, Drewes AM. Opioid treatment and hypoalbuminemia are associated with increased hospitalisation rates in chronic pancreatitis outpatients. Pancreatology 2016. doi:10.1016/j.pan.2016.06.004.
  8. Rasmussen HH, Irtun O, Olesen SS, Drewes AM, Holst M. Nutrition in chronic pancreatitis. World J Gastroenterol 2013;19:7267–75. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i42.7267.
  9. Frøkjær JB, Olesen SS, Gram M, Yavarian Y, Bouwense S a W, Wilder-Smith OHG, et al. Altered brain microstructure assessed by diffusion tensor imaging in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Gut 2011;60:1554–62. doi:10.1136/gut.2010.236620.
  10. Juel J, Liguori S, Liguori A, Valeriani M, Graversen C, Olesen SS, et al. A New Method for Sham-Controlled Acupuncture in Experimental Visceral Pain - a Randomized, Single-Blinded Study. Pain Pract 2015. doi:10.1111/papr.12309.
  11. Frøkjær JB, Bouwense S a W, Olesen SS, Lundager FH, Eskildsen SF, van Goor H, et al. Reduced cortical thickness of brain areas involved in pain processing in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012;10:434–8.e1. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2011.11.024.