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Differentiation between autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) and pancreatic cancer (PC) is a clinical challenge. Emerging published data on the accuracy of serum immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) for the differential diagnosis between AIP and PC are inconsistent. The objective of our study was to perform a meta-analysis evaluating the clinical utility of serum IgG4 in the differential diagnosis between AIP and PC.We performed a systematic literature search of multiple electronic databases. The methodological quality of each study was assessed according to the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies checklist. Random-effects model was used to summarize the diagnostic odds ratio and other measures of accuracy.Eleven studies comprising 523 AIP patients and 771 PC patients were included in the meta-analysis. The summary estimates for serum IgG4 in distinguishing AIP from PC were as follows: diagnostic odds ratio, 57.30 (95% confidence interval [CI], 23.17–141.67); sensitivity, 0.72 (95% CI, 0.68–0.76); specificity, 0.93 (95% CI, 0.91–0.94). The area under the curve of serum IgG4 in distinguishing AIP from PC was 0.9200.Our meta-analysis found that serum IgG4 has high specificity and relatively low sensitivity in the differential diagnosis between AIP and PC. Therefore, serum IgG4 is useful in distinguishing AIP from PC.