Gastrointestinal Symptoms Before and After Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation: The Role of Pancreatic Enzyme Dosing and Adherence

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In a large cohort of subjects undergoing total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT), we assessed the prevalence and duration of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms before and after the procedure to determine the impact of enzyme adherence on GI symptoms.


Three hundred fifty-six preoperative and postoperative questionnaires were collected from 184 subjects between ages of 5 and 66 years who underwent TPIAT between 2008 and 2011 at the University of Minnesota. Questionnaires were analyzed for self-reported frequency and severity of GI symptoms, pancreatic enzyme usage, and glycemic variability index (GVI).


After surgery, patient-reported steatorrhea increased whereas constipation decreased. Gastrointestinal symptoms interfered with daily activity in 44% to 69% of subjects, before and after surgery, despite high reported enzyme adherence. Postoperatively, more than 79% of subjects reported consistent use of enzymes at all meals. Presence of GI symptoms did not vary with adherence. The GVI of 2 had a 2.8-fold increased odds of steatorrhea (95% confidence interval, 1.1–7.0) compared with GVI of 0.


Gastrointestinal symptoms were common after TPIAT; ongoing management is needed. Enzyme nonadherence was not a major contributor to diarrhea/steatorrhea in this cohort. Glycemic variability was closely associated with steatorrhea; poor response to enzyme replacement may complicate diabetes management.

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