Published online Sep 7, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.4111
Revised: July 2, 2009
Accepted: July 9, 2009
Published online: September 7, 2009
Perioperative glycemic control is important for reducing postoperative infectious complications. However, clinical trials have shown that efforts to maintain normoglycemia in intensive care unit patients result in deviation of glucose levels from the optimal range, and frequent attacks of hypoglycemia. Tight glycemic control is even more challenging in those undergoing pancreatic resection. Removal of lesions and surrounding normal pancreatic tissue often cause hormone deficiencies that lead to the destruction of glucose homeostasis, which is termed pancreatogenic diabetes. Pancreatogenic diabetes is characterized by the occurrence of hyperglycemia and iatrogenic severe hypoglycemia, which adversely effects patient recovery. Postoperatively, a variety of factors including surgical stress, inflammatory cytokines, sympathomimetic drug therapy, and aggressive nutritional support can also affect glycemic control. This review discusses the endocrine aspects of pancreatic resection and highlights postoperative glycemic control using a closed-loop system or artificial pancreas. In previous experiments, we have demonstrated the reliability of the artificial pancreas in dogs with total pancreatectomy, and its postoperative clinical use has been shown to be effective and safe, without the occurrence of hypoglycemic episodes, even in patients after total pancreatectomy. Considering the increasing requirement for tight perioperative glycemic control and the recognized risk of hypoglycemia, we propose the use of an artificial endocrine pancreas that is able to monitor continuously blood glucose concentrations with proven accuracy, and administer automatically substances to return blood glucose concentration to the optimal narrow range.