Original communication| Volume 106, ISSUE 1, P60-68, July 1989

Insulin-dependent and insulin-independent effects after surgical alterations of the pancreas

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      Anatomic alterations of the pancreas result in physiologic alterations that have not been completely analyzed. Insulin plays a major role in carbohydrate metabolism; nevertheless, as much as 50% of a hyperglycemic load may be metabolized independent of insulin. We analyzed the effects of surgical alterations of the pancreas on postoperative glucose metabolism, including insulin-independent effects. Mongrel female dogs underwent one of three procedures: proximal partial pancreatectomy (PPx), PPx plus diversion of pancreatic venous effluent to the systemic circulation (SC), or PPx plus segmental pancreatic autotransplantation (PAT). Intravenous glucose tolerance tests, with or without a background infusion of somatostatin (SST; 400 ng/kg/min) were performed on all animals preoperatively and postoperatively. SST completely suppressed secretion of assayable peripheral insulin. The rate of glucose disposal during SST suppression approximates the rate of insulin-independent glucose disposal (IIGD). Although there was a significant decrease in the rate of glucose disposal during SST infusion when compared with the rate without SST, no differences in IIGD were found between postoperative groups. IIGD was calculated at 50% to 55% for control, PPx, and SC groups and at 67% for PAT. Peripheral sensitivity to an exogenous insulin infusion (euglycemic clamp) was unchanged by any of the procedures. We conclude that surgical alteration of the pancreas, including pancreas transplantation, results m altered glucose handling in the face of “normal” peripheral levels of insulin. Changes in IIGD and analysis of peripheral sensitivity to insulin do not explain these alterations completely.
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