Metabolic Aspects of Chronic Pancreatitis

  • J. Mössner
Conference paper


There are various causes of metabolic disorders in chronic pancreatitis (Table 1). In the industrialized countries more than 70% of all cases of chronic pancreatitis are caused by alcohol abuse. Thus, one has to differentiate between metabolic disorders as a consequence of chronic ethanol intoxication of various organs such as liver and metabolic disorders related to chronic pancreatitis itself, such as maldigestion. Chronic pancreatitis per se or via
Table 1

Causes of metabolic disorders in chronic pancreatitis


Consequence of:


Loss of acinar cell mass and function


Obstruction of pancreatic ducts


Obstruction of bile duct


Chronic pancreatitis (?)


Toxic effects of ethanol on gut mucosa

Endocrine insufficiency

Insulin deficiency due to islet damage


Deficiency of other islet hormones

Ethanol abuse

Direct toxic effects of ethanol on various organ systems such as liver


Alcohol abuse


Chronic pain




Smoking (lung cancer), immune deficiency due to alcohol abuse


Immunedeficiency due to alcohol abuse


Chronic bronchitis due to smoking

Pulmonary dysfunction

Chronic bronchitis due to smoking

Acute replases of chronic pancreatitis

maldigestion may impair absorption. Malassimilation in this disease may, therefore, have several causes. Furthermore, alcohol abuse is often associated with malnutrition which in addition will be responsible for metabolic disorders. Many people who abuse alcohol are smokers. The fate of patients with chronic pancreatitis, therefore, is often complicated by the consequences of smoking such as pulmonary and right heart insufficiency due to chronic bronchitis. Metabolism may be disturbed due to lung cancer and very often due to general arteriosclerosis. Infectious complications have to be kept in mind which often occur in patients with impaired lung function and immune deficiency due to alcohol abuse. Chronic pancreatitis may lead to insulin deficiency. However, I do not want to discuss the whole array of metabolic disorders seen in diabetes.


Chronic Pancreatitis Pancreatic Insufficiency Serum Zinc Level Acute Relapse Metabolic Aspect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Mössner
    • 1
  1. 1.Outpatient ClinicUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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