Is pancreatic diabetes (type 3c diabetes) underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed?

Philip D Hardt, Mathias D Brendel, Hans U Kloer, Reinhard G Bretzel
Diabetes Care 2008, 31 Suppl 2: S165-9
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is frequently associated with diabetes, with high prevalence in both insulin-dependent or insulin-independent patients. Exocrine pancreatic failure has often been perceived as a complication of diabetes. In contrast, recent clinical observations lead to the notion that nonendocrine pancreatic disease is a critical factor for development rather than a sequel to diabetes. The incidence of diabetes caused by exocrine pancreatic disease appears to be underestimated and may comprise 8% or more of the general diabetic patient population. Nonendocrine pancreas disease can cause diabetes by multiple mechanisms. Genetic defects have been characterized, resulting in a syndrome of both exocrine and endocrine failure. Regulation of beta-cell mass and physiological incretin secretion are directly dependent on normal exocrine function. Algorithms for diagnosis and therapy of diabetes should therefore address both endocrine and exocrine pancreatic function.

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