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Total pancreatectomy and islet cell autotransplantation as a means of treating patients with genetically linked pancreatitis.

Surgery 2010 October
BACKGROUND: For patients with severe chronic pancreatitis, total or completion pancreatectomy with islet cell autotransplantation (IAT) can alleviate pain and avoid the complications of diabetes. Several genetic mutations, specifically, PRSS1, CFTR, and SPINK1, are associated with chronic pancreatitis. Few reports have focused on the benefit of this operation for this subset of patients.

METHODS: Between February 2000 and July 2009, 118 patients were treated with total pancreatectomy and IAT for chronic pancreatitis. Patients with known genetic mutations were then selected for further analysis.

RESULTS: Of the 188 patients, 16 (13.6%) patients were identified as having genetic mutations, including CFTR (n = 10), PRSS1 (n = 4), and SPINK1 (n = 2) mutations. Mean patient age was 31.4 years (range, 15-59) with an equal male-to-female ratio (50:50). Preoperatively, patients required an average of 185 ± 60 morphine equivalents (MEQ) (median, 123 MEQ) for preoperative pain control. No patients were taking insulin before operation. After resection with IAT, patients were discharged from the hospital with a daily average of 22 ± 4 units of insulin with 6 (38%) patients requiring fewer than 15 units of insulin at the time of discharge. At a mean follow-up of 22 months, mean insulin requirements decreased to 15 U/d (P = .0172). A total of 7 (44%) patients required 15 or fewer units daily, and 4 (25%) patients were completely insulin-independent. Average daily narcotic usage at most recent follow-up decreased to 70 MEQ (median, 0) with 10 (63%) patients currently narcotic-independent. Analyses of the 36-item short-form health survey and the McGill Pain Questionnaire demonstrated a significant improvement in quality-of-life parameters and pain assessment.

CONCLUSION: In patients who suffer from genetically linked chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic resection with IAT should be considered as an early therapeutic option to decrease chronic abdominal pain while preserving endogenous endocrine function.

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