Background: Despite guidelines suggesting pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) should be taken before or during a meal, it is currently unknown whether this has benefits over administration after a meal in individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF).
Methods: 18 children with pancreatic insufficient CF were randomised to two (13)C-mixed triglyceride ((13)C-MTG) breath tests to assess lipase activity with PERT administered 10min before and 10min after a meal. Results were expressed as percentage cumulative dose recovered (PCDR) of (13)CO2 and were compared with established values in healthy subjects. Gastric half emptying time (T½) was also assessed by a (13)C-octanoate breath test.
Results: There was no difference in mean PCDR of (13)CO2 between taking PERT before versus after the meal (p=0.68). Eleven subjects had a greater PCDR when PERT was taken before and 7 when PERT was taken after the meal. 6/8 subjects (75%) with a lower than normal PCDR at one time point normalised PCDR when PERT timing was changed. When PERT was taken after the meal, PCDR was higher in normal vs. fast T½ (p=0.04).
Conclusions: Changing PERT timing can result in normalised lipase activity. Gastric emptying rate may influence optimal timing of PERT. Clinical Trial Registration Number - This study was undertaken prior to the registration process being a commonly required practice.
Keywords: Cystic fibrosis; Gastric emptying; Lipase activity; Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy.
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