The complex exocrine-endocrine relationship and secondary diabetes in exocrine pancreatic disorders

J Clin Gastroenterol. Nov-Dec 2011;45(10):850-61. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31822a2ae5.


The pancreas is a dual organ with exocrine and endocrine functions. The interrelationship of the endocrine-exocrine parts of the pancreas is a complex one, but recent clinical and experimental studies have expanded our knowledge. Many disorders primarily of the exocrine pancreas, often solely in the clinical realm of gastroenterologists are associated with diabetes mellitus (DM). Although, the DM becoming disorders are often grouped with type 2 diabetes, the pathogenesis, clinical manifestations and management differ. We review here data on the association of exocrine-endocrine pancreas, the many hormones of the pancreas and their possible effects on the exocrine functions followed by data on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and management of DM in chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, pancreatic cancer, and clinical states after pancreatic surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiopathology
  • Pancreas, Exocrine / physiopathology*
  • Pancreatic Diseases / complications*
  • Pancreatic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / complications
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / complications
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / physiopathology