Pancreatic volume associated with endocrine and exocrine function of the pancreas among Japanese alcoholics

Pancreatology. 2005;5(4-5):422-31. doi: 10.1159/000086543. Epub 2005 Jun 28.


Background/aims: The pancreas is often damaged by excessive alcohol consumption. Because alcohol-related problems and diabetes mellitus (DM) are increasing in Japan, this cross-sectional study was designed to investigate how pancreatic volume (PV, calculated using multi-slice helical computed tomography) represents alcohol consumption and both endocrine and exocrine pancreatic function among alcoholics.

Methods: Consenting male and female inpatients undergoing psychiatric therapy for alcoholism from June 2003 to May 2004 were subjected to four-slice MCT to determine PV. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and serum lipase levels were examined for endocrine and exocrine pancreatic functions, respectively.

Results: The average PVs of 535 male and 117 female patients (57.2 +/- 21.91 ml and 54.5 +/- 17.56 ml, respectively) were related to age and height (H) but not to body weight (W). Lipase values had a strong relationship with PV/W. Multiple regression analysis revealed weak associations between PV and both daily ethanol consumption and duration of habitual drinking. The diagnosis of DM in 109 of these alcoholics was more strongly associated with the PV/W value than with PV or PV/H.

Conclusion: The association of PV with endocrine and exocrine functions suggests new markers, especially PV/W, for the assessment of DM among alcoholic patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / blood
  • Alcoholism / diagnostic imaging
  • Alcoholism / pathology*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / diagnostic imaging
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology*
  • Japan
  • Lipase / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Pancreas, Exocrine / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreas, Exocrine / metabolism
  • Pancreas, Exocrine / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipase