The age-related incidence of meconium ileus equivalent in a cystic fibrosis population: the impact of high-energy intake

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1990 Oct;11(3):356-60. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199010000-00012.


During the decade from 1976 to 1986, the age-related incidence of meconium ileus equivalent (MIE) was calculated on the basis of 240 Danish cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. In the first 5 years, the patients were given enteric-coated granules of pancreatic enzymes (Pancreatin, Rosco, Denmark), and a low fat diet was recommended. In the last 5 years, the Center recommended supplementation with acid-resistant, enteric-coated, encapsulated microspheres (Pancrease, Cilag, Birkerød, Denmark), and high-energy intake with a 40% fat content and no dietary restrictions. There was no difference in the incidence of MIE when these two 5-year periods were compared, and the overall incidence of MIE was low (5.4 MIEs/1,000 patient years). This may, at least in part, be due to the rather high intake of exocrine pancreas enzyme supplementation (EPES) (a mean intake of 0.9 capsules/kg/day). MIE occurred almost exclusively among patients greater than 15 years old and peaked in young adults aged 20-25 years (35.5 MIEs/1,000 patient years). The daily intake of EPES/kg of body weight declined significantly with age, and the patients who developed MIE received even less than average per day. Both of these points strengthen the view that a low enzyme dosage is likely to have an effect on the incidence of MIE.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / therapeutic use
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diet therapy
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Obstruction / diet therapy
  • Intestinal Obstruction / epidemiology*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology
  • Male
  • Pancreatin / therapeutic use


  • Pancreatin
  • Acetylcysteine