Association of Pancreatic Steatosis with Chronic Pancreatitis, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Temel Tirkes, Christie Y. Jeon, Liang Li, Aron Y. Joon, Ted A. Seltman, Meghana Sankar, Scott A. Persohn, Paul R. Territo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the association of the pancreatic steatosis with obesity, chronic pancreatitis (CP), and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods Patients (n = 118) were retrospectively identified and categorized into no CP (n = 60), mild (n = 21), moderate (n = 27), and severe CP (n = 10) groups based on clinical history and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography using the Cambridge classification as the diagnostic standard. Visceral and subcutaneous compartments were manually segmented, and fat tissue was quantitatively measured on axial magnetic resonance imaging. Results Pancreatic fat fraction showed a direct correlation with fat within the visceral compartment (r = 0.54). Patients with CP showed higher visceral fat (P = 0.01) and pancreatic fat fraction (P < 0.001): mild, 24%; moderate, 23%; severe CP, 21%; no CP group, 15%. Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus showed higher pancreatic steatosis (P = 0.03) and higher visceral (P = 0.007) and subcutaneous fat (P = 0.004). Interobserver variability of measuring fat by magnetic resonance imaging was excellent (r ≥ 0.90-0.99). Conclusions Increased visceral adipose tissue has a moderate direct correlation with pancreatic fat fraction. Chronic pancreatitis is associated with higher pancreatic fat fraction and visceral fat. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with higher pancreatic fat fraction and visceral and subcutaneous adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019



  • Diabetes mellitus
  • obesity
  • pancreas
  • steatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology

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