Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation in diabetic and pre-diabetic patients with intractable chronic pancreatitis

J Pancreatol. 2020 Jun;3(2):86-92. doi: 10.1097/jp9.0000000000000048.


Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT) is an effective treatment option for non-diabetic patients with intractable chronic pancreatitis. The outcome and potential benefits for pre-diabetic and diabetic patients are less well established. Thirty-four patients underwent TPIAT were retrospectively divided into 3 groups according to pre-operative glycemic control: diabetes mellitus (DM) (n=5, 15%), pre-DM (n=11, 32%) and non-DM (n=18, 54%). Pre-operative fasting c-peptide was detectable and similar in all 3 groups. Islet yield in the DM group was comparable to pre-DM and non-DM groups (median islet equivalents [IEQ] was 191,800, 111,800, and 232,000IEQ, respectively). Patients received islet mass of over the target level of 2000IEQ/kg in pre-DM and DM at lower but clinically meaningful rates compared to the non-DM group: 45% (5/11) and 60% (3/5) for a combined 50% (8/16) rate, respectively, compared to 83% (15/18) for the non-DM group. At 1 year, fasting c-peptide and HbA1c did not differ between DM and pre-DM groups but c-peptide was significantly higher in non-DM. Islet transplantation failed (negative c-peptide) only in 1 patient. Pre-operatively, all patients experienced pancreatic pain with daily opioid dependence in 60% to 70%. Pancreatic-type pain gradually subsided completely in all groups with no differences in other painful somatic symptoms. Diabetic patients with measurable pre-operative c-peptide can achieve similar benefit from TPIAT, with comparable outcomes to pre-diabetic and non-diabetic patients including pain relief and the metabolic benefit of transplanted islets. Not surprisingly, endocrine outcomes for diabetic and pre-diabetics patients are substantially worse than in those with normal pre-operative glucose control.

Keywords: Autotransplantation; Islets; Outcomes; Pancreatectomy; Pre-diabetes.