Fat-soluble vitamin concentration in chronic alcohol-induced pancreatitis. Relationship with steatorrhea

Dig Dis Sci. 1994 May;39(5):993-8. doi: 10.1007/BF02087550.


In order to study the fat-soluble vitamin concentration of patients with chronic alcohol-induced pancreatitis (CAIP) we measured vitamins A and E, total lipids, and retinol-binding protein (RBP) in the plasma of 44 patients with CAIP and 83 controls (44 healthy controls; 39 Crohn's disease patients). Mean plasma vitamin E and vitamin E/total lipid ratio were significantly lower in CAIP when compared with either control or Crohn's disease groups. A low vitamin E/total lipid ratio was found in 75% of CAIP patients (91% with steatorrhea) and a ratio less than 1.0 was virtually 100% predictive of steatorrhea. The mean plasma vitamin A level for the CAIP group was significantly lower (overall 16%, 38% with steatorrhea) than in controls. Patients with CAIP show subnormal plasma levels vitamin E more often as compared to vitamin A. Further, the plasma vitamin E/total lipids ratio may be a sensitive and practical means in the detection and follow-up of steatorrhea in these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Celiac Disease / complications*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Crohn Disease / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis / blood*
  • Pancreatitis / etiology
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma
  • Solubility
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • Vitamin E / blood
  • Vitamins / blood*


  • Lipids
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E