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International Journal of Pancreatology

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 131–135 | Cite as

Serum and fecal pancreatic enzymes in beta-thalassemia major

  • Giuseppe Montalto
  • Paolo D’Angelo
  • Antonio Lo Casto
  • Antonio Carroccio
  • Maurizio Soresi
  • Massimo Midiri
  • Roberto Malizia
  • Vincenza Scafidi
Original Articles

Summary

Conclusion

This study, using indirect tests, demonstrated that exocrine pancreatic function is impaired in a proportion of patients with beta-thalassemia major (TM), though this impairment is generally mild or moderate.

Background

Impaired structure and function of the exocrine pancreas has been reported in patients with Beta-thalassemia major.

Methods

In this study we measured fecal fats and serum and fecal pancreatic enzymes in 30 patients (13 M, 17 F) with TM, mean age 22.1 yr (range 14–39) and compared them with those of a matched group of healthy controls. Results were correlated with age, serum ferritin, blood transfusion, and various nutritional parameters. Enzymes assays included: serum pancreatic amylase (PA), lipase (L), trypsin (T), fecal chymotrypsin (FCT), and fecal elastase (FE).

Results

No patient was positive for steatorrhea. Comparison of the mean values showed a significant difference only for FE (p<0.002). Using only the fecal tests as a reference, we found that 12 patients had FE values below the cutoff limit; of these, five had values between 100 and 185 μg/g, three between 50 and 99 μg/g and four below 50 μg/g. Ten patients had FCT values below the cutoff limit; seven presented impairment in both tests and six of them had FE values below 100 μg/g (including four diabetics). No correlations were found between enzyme values and mean serum ferritin values or mean blood consumption over the previous 3 yr. No correlation was found between FE and FCT levels or between enzymes and age.

Key Words

Exocrine pancreatic function beta-thalassemia pancreatic enzymes 

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Montalto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paolo D’Angelo
    • 2
    • 1
  • Antonio Lo Casto
    • 3
    • 1
  • Antonio Carroccio
    • 3
    • 1
  • Maurizio Soresi
    • 3
    • 1
  • Massimo Midiri
    • 3
    • 1
  • Roberto Malizia
    • 3
    • 1
  • Vincenza Scafidi
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.Cattedra di Medicina InternaUniversità di PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Servizio di PediatriaUSL 61Palermo
  3. 3.Istituto di RadiologiaUniversità di PalermoItaly

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