Aims: To investigate the effect of infusion of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist exenatide on exocrine pancreatic function.
Methods: This was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study in 12 male patients with type 2 diabetes, treated with oral glucose-lowering agents. On two separate occasions, exenatide or placebo were administered intravenously, in randomized order. Exocrine pancreatic function was measured using secretin-enhanced magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. The primary outcome measure was defined as secretin-stimulated pancreatic excretion volume. Secondary outcome measures were maximum secretion speed and the time to reach this maximum. In addition, changes in pancreatic duct (PD) diameter were measured.
Results: Exenatide did not change secretin-stimulated pancreatic excretion volume, as compared with placebo. Also, exenatide did not change the maximum secretion speed, nor the time to reach this maximum. No differences in PD diameter were observed between the two groups.
Conclusions: Infusion of exenatide did not directly influence MRI-measured exocrine pancreatic excretion in patients with type 2 diabetes. Although long-term studies are warranted, these findings suggest that potential adverse pancreatic effects of GLP-1 receptor agonists are not mediated by changes in exocrine pancreatic secretion.

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Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Smits, M. M., Tonneijck, L., Muskiet, M. H. A., Kramer, M. H. H., Diamant, M., van den Bos, I., … Cahen, D. (2016). Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist exenatide has no acute effect on MRI-measured exocrine pancreatic function in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 18(3), 281–288. doi:10.1111/dom.12612