The time course of beta cell dysfunction in chronic ethanol-induced pancreatitis: A prospective analysis

William H. Nealon, Courtney M. Townsend, James C. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Insulin-glucose homeostasis was examined in 62 patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP). All patients were graded on the basis of test results from five studies: (1) endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, (2) fat-stimulated release of pancreatic polypeptide (PP), (3) NBT-bentiromide PABA test, (4) 72-hour fecal fat test, and (5) oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Patients with CP were graded as either mild/moderate or severe by means of a scoring system that we devised and have previously reported. Nineteen patients were graded as mild/moderate and 43 patients were graded as severe. The endocrine function of non-β and β islet cells was compared by assessing release of PP after fat and by release of insulin during OGTT. Release of PP was depressed in 58%, and the depressed output was found in only patients with a severe grade of CP. Forty-four of 62 patients (71%) with CP had abnormal OGTT findings; the distribution of this abnormality was not greatly different between mild/moderate and severe grades. Depressed release of insulin was seen in 58% (36 of 62) -more commonly in patients with a severe grade (10%) but also in 32% of patients with a mild/moderate grade. A subset of patients with CP sustains early β-cell dysfunction. We conclude that decreased output of PP is a more reliable measure of functional deficit and stage in CP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1074-1079
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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