Quantification of Pancreatic Function Using a Clinically Feasible Short Endoscopic Secretin Test

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Clinical and morphological criteria are not precise enough to diagnose early chronic pancreatitis (CP). We investigated if short endoscopic pancreas function testing as a part of routine upper endoscopy could improve clinical diagnostics.


Patients with suspected CP underwent modified secretin-stimulated upper endoscopy (short endoscopic secretin test, or EST). Duodenal juice was collected during 15 minutes starting 30 minutes after stimulation. A modified scoring system for CP after Layer with bicarbonate and fecal elastase 1 (FE1) was used. We tested with receiver operating characteristic curves the diagnostic accuracy of bicarbonate and FE1 and with analysis of variance how precise the 2 parameters can discriminate the groups.


Fifty-two patients aged 19 to 67 years and 25 healthy controls aged 19 to 64 years were included. Twenty-four patients fulfilled the modified Layer Score for CP or non-CP. The overall accuracy of the EST versus FE1 test was 85%/71%, with positive and negative predictive values of 100%/79% and 80%/69%, respectively.


Short EST is rapid and easy to perform and can be incorporated in daily routines. We demonstrate that EST is superior to FE1 in the assessment of pancreatic insufficiency and may prove to be useful in diagnosing early or mild CP.

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