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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2019 Jun 1;316(6):G806-G815. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00385.2018. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

Intrapancreatic fat deposition and visceral fat volume are associated with the presence of diabetes after acute pancreatitis.

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School of Medicine, University of Auckland , Auckland , New Zealand.
School of Science and School of Interprofessional Health Studies, Auckland University of Technology , Auckland , New Zealand.


Ectopic fat and abdominal adiposity phenotypes have never been studied holistically in individuals after acute pancreatitis (AP). The aim of the study was to investigate phenotypical differences in ectopic fat and abdominal fat between individuals after AP (with and without diabetes) and to determine the role of pancreatitis-related factors. Eighty-four individuals were studied cross-sectionally after a median of 21.5 mo since last episode of AP and were categorized into "diabetes" and "no diabetes" groups. Twenty-eight healthy volunteers were also recruited. With the use of magnetic resonance imaging, intrapancreatic fat percentage, liver fat percentage, visceral fat volume (VFV), subcutaneous fat volume, and visceral-to-subcutaneous (V/S) fat volume ratio were quantified. Analysis of variance was used to investigate the differences in these phenotypes between the groups. All analyses were adjusted for age and sex. Linear regression analysis was used to investigate the association between pancreatitis-related factors and the studied phenotypes. Intrapancreatic fat percentage was significantly higher in the diabetes group (10.2 ± 1.2%) compared with the no diabetes (9.2 ± 1.7%) and healthy volunteers (7.9 ± 1.9%) groups (P < 0.001). VFV was significantly higher in the diabetes (2,715.3 ±1,077.6 cm3) compared with no diabetes (1,983.2 ± 1,092.4 cm3) and healthy volunteer (1,126.2 ± 740.4 cm3) groups (P < 0.001). V/S fat volume ratio was significantly higher in the diabetes (0.97 ± 0.27) compared with no diabetes (0.68 ± 0.42) and healthy volunteer (0.52 ± 0.34) groups (P = 0.001). Biliary AP was associated with significantly higher intrapancreatic fat percentage (β = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.01, 1.33; P = 0.047). C-reactive protein levels during hospitalization for AP were associated with significantly higher VFV (β = 3.32; 95% CI, 1.68, 4.96; P < 0.001). In conclusion, individuals with diabetes after AP have higher intrapancreatic fat percentage, VFV, and V/S fat volume ratio. Levels of C-reactive protein during AP are significantly associated with VFV, whereas biliary AP is significantly associated with intrapancreatic fat percentage. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Individuals with diabetes after acute pancreatitis have significantly higher intrapancreatic fat percentage and visceral fat volume compared with individuals without diabetes after acute pancreatitis and healthy controls. C-reactive protein levels during hospitalization for acute pancreatitis and biliary etiology of acute pancreatitis are associated with significantly larger visceral fat and pancreatic fat depots, respectively.


abdominal fat depots; acute pancreatitis; glucose metabolism; inflammation; magnetic resonance imaging


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