Age-related alterations of immunoreactive pancreatic cationic trypsinogen in sera from cystic fibrosis patients with and without pancreatic insufficiency

Pediatr Res. 1986 Mar;20(3):209-13. doi: 10.1203/00006450-198603000-00002.


Serum immunoreactive cationic trypsinogen levels were determined in 99 control subjects and 381 cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. To evaluate the status of the exocrine pancreas all CF patients had previously undergone fecal fat balance studies and/or pancreatic stimulation tests. Three hundred fourteen CF patients had fat malabsorption and/or had inadequate pancreatic enzyme secretion (pancreatic insufficiency) requiring oral pancreatic enzyme supplements with meals. Sixty-seven CF patients did not have fat malabsorption and/or had adequate enzyme secretion (pancreatic sufficiency) and were not receiving pancreatic enzyme supplements with meals. Mean serum trypsinogen in 99 control subjects was 31.4 +/- 14.8 micrograms/liter (+/- 2 SD) and levels did not vary with age or sex. In CF infants (less than 2 yr) with pancreatic insufficiency, mean serum trypsinogen was significantly above the non-CF values (p less than 0.001). Ninety-one percent of the CF infants had elevated levels. Serum trypsinogen values in the pancreatic insufficient group declined steeply up to 5 years, reaching subnormal values by age 6. An equation was developed which described these age-related changes very accurately. Only six CF patients with pancreatic insufficiency had serum trypsinogen levels above the 95% confidence limits of this equation. In contrast, there was no age related decline in serum trypsinogen among the CF group with pancreatic sufficiency. Under 7 yr, serum trypsinogen failed to distinguish the two groups. In those over 7 yr of age, however, serum trypsinogen was significantly higher than the CF group with pancreatic insufficiency (p less than 0.001), and 93% had values within or above the control range.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / blood*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency / blood*
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Sex Factors
  • Trypsinogen / blood*


  • Trypsinogen