The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) on chronic pancreatitis (CP) patients and to identify challenges with its diagnosis and treatment. Methods Ninety-one patients with CP diagnosed with endoscopic ultrasound were identified and assessed for symptoms of EPI, fat-soluble vitamin levels, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan T-scores, and treatment with pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. All patients were also screened with the Malnutrition Universal Screening Test. Results Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency was diagnosed in 84.6% (77/91) of patients based on symptoms of bloating, steatorrhea, or weight loss. Of these patients, 35.2% (19/54) had vitamin A deficiency, 62.5% (55/88) had vitamin D deficiency, and 17.7% (9/51) had vitamin E deficiency. Either osteopenia or osteoporosis was found in 68.9% (31/45). A medium or higher risk for malnutrition based on Malnutrition Universal Screening Test score of 1 or higher was found in 31.5% (28/89). Malnutrition Universal Screening Test score of 1 or higher was associated with an increased risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis on Fisher's exact test (P = 0.0037). Conclusions There is a high prevalence of fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies, osteopathy, and malnutrition in CP patients, which is underestimated due to a lack of effective diagnosis and suboptimal therapies for EPI.
- chronic pancreatitis
- exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism