Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency occurs in most patients following pancreaticoduodenectomy
Thogari K Kumar1, Mallika Tewari1, SK Shukla2, SP Mishra3
1 Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Gastroenterology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Background: Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (PEI) is a well-defined complication of malignant diseases and pancreatic resection; however, study results of PEI are less consistent. Assessment of PEI by estimation of fecal elastase (FE)-1 in stool by enzyme-linked immunosorbent essay (ELISA) is a relatively inexpensive, noninvasive, and simple test. This study assessed exocrine function of pancreas following pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) by estimating FE-1.
Methods: This prospective hospital-based study involved 30 patients who had undergone PD for malignancy. All 30 patients had an uneventful postoperative period under the unit's enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocol with no Grade B, C postoperative pancreatic fistula/postpancreatectomy hemorrhage as per the International Study Group of Pancreatic Surgery (ISGPS) definitions. Stool samples were collected postoperatively 3 months after surgery from all patients irrespective of clinical symptoms. The analysis was based on a solid phase ELISA used for the quantitative determination of human elastase 1 in feces. Fecal elastase was considered normal if >200 μg/gm stool, moderately reduced if 100–200 μg/gm stool, and severely reduced if <100 μg/gm stool.
Results: Among 30 patients included, fecal elastase levels were moderately reduced in 10 (33.33%) and severely reduced in 20 (66.67%) patients (P <0.0001). Mean (± standard deviation) of fecal elastase was 87.12 ± 38.76 with median of 74.6 μg/gm stool. There was no significant difference in the fecal elastase levels between men and women (P = 0.057), age (P = 0.48), pancreatic duct diameter (P = 0.609), pancreatic texture (P = 0.286), and presence or absence of clinical symptoms (P = 0.181).
Conclusions: PD was frequently associated with PEI. Unfortunately PEI is an under recognized and under treated long-term sequel of PD. Fecal elastase 1 should be performed routinely in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy should be considered in every patient after PD.
Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None