Chronic Pancreatitis Leading to Pancreatogenic Diabetes Presenting in Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Rare Entity

Gabriel Melki, Linda Laham, Gres Karim, Fnu Komal, Vinod Kumar, Shaker Barham, Matthew Grossman, Sugabramya Kuru, Hadir Mohamed, Rana Garris, Walid Baddoura


Diabetes mellitus type 3c (DM3c) is an uncommon cause of diabetes due to pancreatic pathology. Its prevalence reaches about 5-10% among all diabetics in the Western world, largely due to chronic pancreatitis. DM3c occurs due to the destruction of the endocrine islet cells. Glucagon and insulin levels are both decreased due to the destruction of alpha and beta cells, respectively. This makes the development of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) a rare process in patients with DM3c because of the destruction of glucagon, which facilitates ketone production. We report a case of DM3c presenting with DKA. The patient presented with a history of chronic pancreatitis and was on pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. Prior records revealed that HbA1c levels were normal. Prior computed tomography evidence revealed diffuse pancreatic calcifications. The patient was admitted for DKA, presenting with hyperglycemia, blood glucose of 703 mg/dL, bicarbonate of 16 mmol/L, ketones in the urine and acetone in the blood. The patients anion gap corrected for albumin was 27. The patient was admitted to the medical intensive care unit where he was treated with intravenous (IV) insulin and IV hydration. Once the anion gap closed, the patient was transitioned to long-acting insulin. HbA1c level on admission was elevated, autoimmune causes of diabetes were sent and were negative, ruling out late onset type 1 diabetes. This shows that although it is a rare phenomenon, diabetics with DM3c can present in DKA.

Gastroenterol Res. 2019;12(4):208-210


Chronic pancreatitis; Diabetic ketoacidosis; Pancreatogenic diabetes; Diabetes mellitus type 3c

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