Pancreatic resection: effects on glucose metabolism

World J Surg. 2001 Apr;25(4):452-60. doi: 10.1007/s002680020337. Epub 2001 Apr 11.


Pancreatic resection results in hormonal abnormalities that are dependent on the extent and location (proximal versus distal) of the resected portion of the gland. The form of glucose intolerance which results from pancreatic resection is termed pancreatogenic diabetes. It is associated with features distinct from both type I (insulin-dependent) and type II (insulin-independent, or adult-onset) diabetes. Hepatic insulin resistance with persistent endogenous glucose production and enhanced peripheral insulin sensitivity result in a brittle form of diabetes which can be difficult to manage. In addition to insulin deficiency, the endocrine abnormalities that accompany pancreatic resection can include glucagon deficiency or pancreatic polypeptide (PP) deficiency if the resection is distal or proximal, respectively. Glucagon deficiency can contribute to iatrogenic hypoglycemia, and PP deficiency can contribute to persistent hyperglycemia due to impaired hepatic insulin action. Pancreatic resections that spare the duodenum, such as distal pancreatectomy, duodenum-preserving pancreatic head resection (Beger procedure), or extended lateral pancreaticojejunostomy with excavation of the pancreatic head (Frey procedure), are associated with a lower incidence of new or worsened diabetes than the standard or pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple procedure) or total pancreatectomy. Operative considerations for the treatment of pancreatic disease should include strategies to minimize the hormonal impairment of pancreatic resection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Glucagon / physiology
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / physiology
  • Pancreas / physiology*
  • Pancreatectomy* / methods
  • Pancreatic Diseases / surgery
  • Pancreatic Polypeptide / physiology
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy


  • Insulin
  • Pancreatic Polypeptide
  • Glucagon
  • Glucose