Objective: Glucose intolerance is often observed in autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP), although its long-term prognosis after steroid treatment (ST) is still unclear.
Methods: A total of 47 patients with AIP were enrolled. On the basis of the change in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and the use of diabetic medication, prognosis was classified into 3 categories, namely, "improved," "aggravated," and "unchanged." The relation between the result of an initial glucagon tolerance test (ΔCPR) and the later use of insulin during maintenance ST was examined in 20 patients. The transitions of homeostasis model assessment β cell and insulin resistance (HOMA-β and HOMA-R) were analyzed in 16 patients.
Results: Glucose tolerance was improved in 6 patients (13%), aggravated in 9 patients (19%), and unchanged in 32 patients (68%). All patients with ΔCPR less than 0.6 ng/mL were obliged to use insulin even after long-term observation, whereas all patients with ΔCPR more than 1.0 ng/mL were free from insulin therapy. Moreover, HOMA-β showed significant improvement after ST (43.9% → 56.0% in median, P = 0.030), and HOMA-R showed significant aggravation (1.30 → 1.78, P = 0.039).
Conclusions: Glucose tolerance that is too severely damaged may not recover fully even after ST. Thus, ST should be performed to preserve insulin secretion at the early stage of AIP.