Hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus in children with pancreatitis

J Pediatr. 2011 Apr;158(4):612-616.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.09.066. Epub 2010 Nov 20.


Objective: To assess the risk factors for developing hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus (DM) in children with pancreatitis.

Study design: Patients (from infants to age 21 years) hospitalized with acute pancreatitis (AP), acute recurrent pancreatitis (ARP), and chronic pancreatitis were studied retrospectively. Subjects with known DM or cystic fibrosis before presentation with pancreatitis were excluded.

Results: A total of 176 patients met the study criteria. Of these, 140 had AP, 29 had ARP, and 7 had chronic pancreatitis. Severe pancreatitis was associated with hyperglycemia; 41% of the patients with hyperglycemia required insulin, and 8 patients (4.5%) developed DM requiring insulin by the time of discharge. These 8 patients with postpancreatitis DM were more likely to be overweight. Five of the 8 patients had a seizure disorder, and 4 had another comorbidity, such as mental retardation or cerebral palsy. Seven of the 8 patients who developed DM had a single episode of AP, and one patient had ARP.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that hyperglycemia and DM can occur with pancreatitis. In some cases, postpancreatitis DM was associated with mental retardation, seizure disorder, and use of antiseizure medication. As opposed to adults who develop DM after chronic pancreatitis, children can develop DM due to a single episode of AP.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology*
  • Infant
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Pancreatitis / complications*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult