Background: Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is known to occur in patients with chronic pancreatitis, particularly of alcoholic etiology. There are, however, scanty data on frequency of SIBO in patients with chronic idiopathic pancreatitis and factors associated with its occurrence.
Methods: 68 patients with chronic pancreatitis and 74 age and gender-matched healthy subjects (HS) were evaluated for SIBO using glucose hydrogen breath test (GHBT). Persistent rise in breath hydrogen 12 ppm above basal (at least two recordings) was diagnostic of SIBO.
Result: SIBO was diagnosed more often among patients with chronic pancreatitis than controls (10/68 [14.7%] vs. 1/74 controls [1.3%]; p = 0.003). Of 68 patients, 22 (32.3%) had alcoholic and 46 (67.6%) had idiopathic chronic pancreatitis. SIBO was as commonly detected among patients with alcoholic as idiopathic pancreatitis (3/22 [13.6%] vs. 7/46 [15.2%]; p = 0.86). Age, gender, body mass index (BMI), steatorrhoea, pain, analgesic use, pancreatic calcifications and use of pancreatic enzyme supplements had no relationship with the presence of SIBO. Diabetes mellitus tended to be commoner among patients with chronic pancreatitis with than without SIBO (6/10 [60%] vs. 18/58 [31%]; p = 0.07).
Conclusion: SIBO was commoner among patients with chronic pancreatitis, both alcoholic and idiopathic, than HS. Though presence of SIBO among patients with chronic pancreatitis tended to be commoner among those with diabetes mellitus, there was no relationship with age, gender, BMI, steatorrhoea, pain, analgesic use, pancreatic calcifications and use of pancreatic enzyme supplements.
Keywords: Alcoholic pancreatitis; Bacterial overgrowth; Breath test; Gut flora; Idiopathic pancreatitis; Malabsorption.
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