Comparative sonographic evaluation of the anteroposterior dimensions of the pancreas in diabetics and nondiabetics

  • JO Agabi
  • AO Akhigbe
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, dimension, pancreas, sonography

Abstract

Background: The pancreas is an insulin‑producing gland and is prone to varying degrees of destruction and change in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Various morphological changes including reduction in the pancreas dimensions have been described in DM.
Objectives: To determine pancreatic anteroposterior (AP) dimensions in diabetics by sonography and compare with nondiabetics. To also evaluate the correlation of the AP dimensions with patient’s anthropometry, as well as the duration of the disease in comparison with nondiabetics.
Materials and Methods: This is a comparative cross‑sectional study involving 150 diabetics with 150 sex and age matched healthy normoglycemic group used as controls. Sonographic measurements of the AP dimensions of the pancreatic head, body, and tail of both study groups were performed with the use of 3.5 MHz curvilinear array transducer of a SonoAce X4 ultrasound machine. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 17 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). A statistical test was considered significant at P ≤ 0.05 and 95% confidence interval.
Results: Pancreas AP dimensions were significantly smaller in diabetics compared to those of the controls. The mean dimensions were 1.91 ± 0.26 cm, 0.95 ± 0.12 cm, and 0.91 ± 0.11 cm for the head, body, and tail, respectively, in diabetics and 2.32 ± 0.22 cm, 1.43 ± 0.19 cm, and 1.34 ± 0.20 cm in the control (P < 0.001 in all cases). The dimensions were also significantly smaller in the Type 1 diabetics compared to Type 2 (P < 0.001 in all cases). The mean duration of illness for the Types 1 and 2 diabetics were 3.09 ± 1.38 and 3.78 ± 3.12 years, respectively. Longer duration of illness was associated with smaller pancreas body and tail dimensions, while pancreas head dimension was not significantly affected by the duration of illness.
Conclusion: Diabetics have smaller pancreas AP dimensions compared to the normal population.

Key words: Diabetes mellitus, dimension, pancreas, sonography

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eISSN: 1119-3077