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Decline of Exocrine Pancreatic Function in Cystic Fibrosis Patients with Pancreatic Sufficiency


ABSTRACT: Patients with cystic fibrosis and pancreatic sufficiency were investigated for evidence of progressive pancreatic disease. From a cohort of 630 patients, 20 pancreatic-sufficient patients became pancreatic insufficient after an average duration of 5.6 y (range 0.6–20.6 y) from diagnosis. Among 54 patients documented to be pancreatic sufficient by direct pancreatic stimulation test, 47 remained pancreatic sufficient and seven developed pancreatic insufficiency. The patients who ultimately developed pancreatic insufficiency were younger and had greatly reduced outputs of enzyme, fluid, and electrolytes. Those who remained pancreatic sufficient showed enzyme secretion close to or within the non-cystic fibrosis control range. Twenty of these patients underwent a second pancreatic stimulation test after an average interval of 4 y (range 1.3–6.2 y). No significant alteration in enzyme, fluid, or electrolyte output was seen in the patients who remained pancreatic sufficient, but there was further reduction in enzyme and fluid output in the patients who developed pancreatic failure. In conclusion, the majority of pancreatic-sufficient patients with pancreatic enzyme secretion within the control range showed no deterioration of function over an extended time period. However, a small number of pancreatic-sufficient patients with reduced enzyme and fluid secretion are at risk of pancreatic failure.

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Correspondence to P R Durie.

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Couper, R., Corey, M., Moore, D. et al. Decline of Exocrine Pancreatic Function in Cystic Fibrosis Patients with Pancreatic Sufficiency. Pediatr Res 32, 179–182 (1992).

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