Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation Improves Quality of Life in Patients With Refractory Recurrent Acute Pancreatitis

Melena D. Bellin, Tossapol Kerdsirichairat, Gregory J. Beilman, Ty B. Dunn, Srinath Chinnakotla, Timothy L. Pruett, David R. Radosevich, Sarah J. Schwarzenberg, David E.R. Sutherland, Mustafa A. Arain, Martin L. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background & Aims Therapeutic options are limited for patients with recurrent acute pancreatitis who have intractable symptoms despite maximal endoscopic and medical treatment, but equivocal or no morphologic or functional evidence of chronic pancreatitis. We performed a prospective observational cohort study to determine the efficacy of total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT) for these patients. Methods We collected data from all patients undergoing TPIAT at the University of Minnesota from 2007 through 2013; 49 patients (42 female; mean age, 32.8 ± 7.8 years) had a diagnosis of recurrent acute pancreatitis not provoked by intervention, with negative or equivocal findings from nondiagnostic imaging or pancreatic function tests for chronic pancreatitis, and intractable pain between episodes. Data on insulin use, narcotic requirements, pain scores, and health-related quality of life were collected before TPIAT; 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year afterward; and then yearly. Results All 49 patients studied required narcotics before TPIAT (45 daily users and 4 intermittent users); 2 had insulin-treated diabetes. At 1 year after TPIAT, 22 out of 48 patients (46%) reported no use of narcotic pain medications (P < .001 vs baseline). Health-related quality of life score, measured by the physical and mental component summary score, increased by approximately 1 standard deviation from the population mean (P < .001 for the physical component summary; P = .019 for the mental component summary). At 1 year after TPIAT, 21 out of 48 patients (45%) were insulin independent; their mean percent glycosylated hemoglobin A1c at 1 year after TPIAT was 6.0% ± 0.9% (5.2% ± 0.6% pre-TPIAT). Conclusions Patients with recurrent acute pancreatitis but lacking clear chronic pancreatitis benefit from TPIAT, with outcomes similar to those previously described for patients with chronic pancreatitis (improved quality of life and reduced narcotic use). For these patients who have otherwise limited surgical treatment options, TPIAT can be considered when medical and endoscopic therapies have failed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1323
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 AGA Institute


  • CP
  • HRQL
  • clinical trial
  • pancreas


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