Chronic pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus. A retrospective analysis of 156 ERCP investigations in patients with insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Pancreatology. 2002;2(1):30-3. doi: 10.1159/000049445.


Background: Pancreatic exocrine dysfunction has been described frequently in IDDM and NIDDM patients. Most authors tried to explain this finding as a diabetic complication. On the other hand, diabetes secondary to chronic pancreatitis (CP) might be more common than believed so far.

Aim of the study: In this study we evaluated pancreatograms of patients with known diabetes mellitus in order to detect ductal morphology changes characteristic for CP.

Methods: Consecutive diabetic patients admitted for ERCP for different reasons were evaluated retrospectively concerning ERCP findings, especially pancreatic duct changes (Cambridge classification), diabetes type, duration and therapy.

Results: 156 patients (76 male, 80 female; mean age 60 years (19-93)) were studied (38 IDDM; 118 NIDDM). Pancreatic ducts were classified as normal in 23.3%, CP degree I in 22.7%, CP degree II in 32.7% and CP degree III in 21.3%. The duct changes did not correlate with diabetes type (p = 0.19), diabetes duration (p = 0.38), diabetes therapy (p = 0.5) or age (p = 0.48).

Conclusion: Since CP should be defined by morphological and functional changes, it must be concluded that a substantial number of patients with a primary diagnosis of diabetes mellitus may have CP as a concomitant disease or, more likely, as a cause for their diabetic state.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology*
  • Pancreatitis / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies