Background: We performed a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of duct abnormalities and exocrine pancreatic dysfunction in an unselected group of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and to correlated the findings with clinical, endoscopic, and histologic variables.
Methods: A total of 237 IBD patients were screened for pancreatic enzymes and with a PABA test. Seventy-one (30%) patients with values more than twice the upper normal limit in biochemical tests or with a PABA test < 40% were further evaluated. The pancreatic evaluation included endoscopic retrograde pancreatography, ultrasonography, and a secretin test. The endoscopic and histologic findings were systematically evaluated.
Results: The secretin test was completed in 54 patients, and in 10 (19%) it showed a decreased maximal bicarbonate concentration, corresponding to 4% of the whole study group. The pancreatograms of 59 patients were studied. In 20 (34%) patients unequivocal duct abnormalities were found. The prevalence of pancreatic duct abnormalities in IBD was 8.4%.
Conclusion: Our results show the presence of pancreatic duct abnormalities and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in some patients with IBD.