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A Journal on Endocrine System Diseases


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Minerva Endocrinologica 2016 March;41(1):70-7

language: English

Fibrocalculous pancreatic diabetes

Poorani GOUNDAN 1, Ana JUNQUEIRA 2, Donna KELLEHER-YASSEN 1, Devin STEENKAMP 1

1 Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Department of Medicine Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA; 2 Division of Endocrinology Walter Cantídio University Hospital Federal University of Ceara, Fortaleza, Brazil


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The aim of this paper is to review the relevant literature related to the epidemiology, pathophysiology, natural history, clinical features and treatment of fibrocalculous pancreatic diabetes (FCPD). We review the English-language literature on this topic published between 1956 and 2014. FCPD is a form of diabetes usually associated with chronic calcific pancreatitis. It has been predominantly, though not exclusively, described in lean, young adults living in tropical developing countries. Historically linked to malnutrition, the etiology of this phenotype has not been clearly elucidated, nor has there been a clear consensus on specific diagnostic criteria or clinical features. Affected individuals usually present with a long-standing history of abdominal pain, which may begin as early as childhood. Progressive pancreatic endocrine and exocrine dysfunction, consistent with chronic pancreatitis is expected. Common causes of chronic pancreatitis, such as alcohol abuse, are usually absent. Typical radiographic and pathological features include coarse pancreatic calcifications, main pancreatic duct dilation, pancreatic fibrosis and atrophy. Progressive microvascular complications are common, but diabetic ketoacidosis is remarkably unusual. Pancreatic carcinoma is an infrequently described long term complication. FCPD is an uncommon diabetes phenotype characterized by early onset non-alcoholic chronic pancreatitis with hyperglycemia, insulin deficiency and a striking resistance to ketosis.

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