Angiopathies in pancreatic diabetes resulting from chronic pancreatitis

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Marked diabetic micro- and macroangiopathies were recognized in three autopsy cases with pancreatic diabetes resulting from chronic pancreatitis.


Recent reports have suggested that diabetic retinopathy occurs as one of the microangiopathies in patients with secondary diabetes following chronic pancreatitis.


We report three autopsy cases with pancreatic diabetes. Cases 1 and 2 showed alcoholic chronic pancreatitis. Case 3 was a patient with chronic pancreatitis resulting from hyperparathyroidism. All three cases had pancreatic calcification and markedly decreased exocrine pancreatic function. There was no family history of diabetes in these patients. The HbA1 values were elevated, with diminished secretion of both insulin and glucagon.


The common features of the clinical courses were poor glycemic control, including insulin-induced hypoglycemic attacks in the early stage and microangiopathy, followed by difficulties in treatment for hypertension in the late stage of pancreatic diabetes. Autopsies, performed after 12-18 yr of diabetes, revealed fibrosis of the pancreas, disappearance of acinar cells in the exocrine pancreas, atrophy, a diminished number of islets of Langerhans, and diabetic glomerulosclerosis, with arteriosclerosis in the brain, heart, and kidneys. Cerebral hemorrhage, heart failure, and myocardial infarction were suggested to be the main causes of death. Although the serum lipid levels were rather low in cases 1 and 2, arteriosclerosis was marked by the age of 60, and serum protein levels were also low in all three cases.

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