Abnormalities of the Exocrine Pancreas in Type 1 Diabetes

Martha Campbell-Thompson, Teresa Rodriguez-Calvo, Manuela Battaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is considered a pancreatic beta cell-specific disease that results in absolute insulin deficiency. Nevertheless, clinical studies from 1940 onwards showed that patients with T1D had an abnormal exocrine pancreas due to the presence of subclinical exocrine insufficiency and acinar atrophy. Exocrine abnormalities are an important, and mostly neglected, characteristic associated with T1D. It is however still unclear whether the exocrine dysfunction in T1D is a primary damage caused by the same pathogenic event that led to beta cell destruction or secondary to beta cell loss. In this review, we collect evidence supporting the hypothesis that T1D is a combined endocrine-exocrine disease in which the loss of functional beta cell mass is most clinically apparent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number79
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reports
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2015


  • Acinar tissue
  • Beta cell
  • Fecal elastase
  • Pancreatitis
  • Serum trypsinogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine


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