Pain Control, Glucose Control, and Quality of Life in Patients With Chronic Pancreatitis After Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation: A Preliminary Report

Transplant Proc. 2017 Dec;49(10):2333-2339. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2017.10.010.


Background: Total pancreatectomy (TP) is offered as a last treatment option for pain relief in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Concurrent islets autotransplantation (TP-IAT) may improve glucose control.

Methods: We analyzed results in 20 recent patients who underwent TP-IAT at The University of Chicago. The median observation period was 28 months (2-38). Data were collected prospectively then analyzed retrospectively.

Results: The number of patients requiring opioids daily for pain control decreased from 16 (80%) prior to surgery to 2 (13%) 1 year after, with only 1 (6.5%) patient experiencing persistent phantom pancreatic pain. Opioid requirements decreased from a median 56.3 (0-240) morphine equivalent dose to 5 (0-130) on day 75 and to 0 (0-30) at 1-year follow up. Five patients (25%) completely stopped insulin support prior to day 75 while maintaining hemoglobin A1c of 5.9% (5-6.3). Eight (53%) patients were insulin free at 1 year with A1c of 6% (5.5-6.8) and a similar rate persisted in next 2 years. For the remaining patients, the more islet function that was preserved, the less insulin they required and A1c was closer to optimal. Quality of Life (QoL) measured by SF36 Physical (PCS) and Mental (MCS) Component Score improved on day 75 (P < .001) and maintained improvement later on. Both PCS and MCS improved regardless of whether patient requires insulin support or not.

Conclusions: Improvements of QoL with pain resolution and good glucose control can be achieved after TP-IAT in properly selected patients with CP and intractable pain, regardless of patient insulin support status.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology*
  • Pancreatectomy / adverse effects*
  • Pancreatectomy / methods
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / surgery*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose