*Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
†Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
‡Department of Endoscopy, Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) is frequently associated with diabetes mellitus (DM). This study evaluated the effect of steroid therapy on the course of DM in AIP.
Glucose tolerance was examined in 69 patients with AIP. DM onset was classified as either a simultaneous onset with AIP or an exacerbation of pre-existing DM. Based on the changes in the HbA1c levels and insulin dose, the responses of DM to steroids were classified as improved, no change, or worsened.
Thirty (46%) patients were diagnosed as having DM (simultaneous onset, n=17; pre-existing, n=13). Three months after starting the steroid treatment, the DM improved in 13 (54%) of 24 DM patients. The DM improved in 55%, had no change in 36%, and worsened in 9% of the 11 simultaneous onset DM patients, and it improved in 54%, had no change in 31%, and worsened in 15% of the 13 pre-existing DM patients. At approximately 3 years after starting the steroid treatment, the DM improved in 10 (63%) of 16 patients. The pancreatic exocrine function improved in parallel with the changes in the DM in seven patients.
Because approximately 60% of DM associated with AIP is responsive to steroids in the short- and long-terms, marked DM associated with AIP appears to be an indication for steroid therapy.