Sensitivity and specificity of quantitative determination of pancreatic elastase 1 in feces of children

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1997 Jan;24(1):53-5. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199701000-00013.


Background: The secretin-pancreozymin test has been accepted as the gold standard for testing exocrine pancreatic function. However, this test is invasive, time-consuming, and expensive. Therefore, in daily practice, more simple, indirect methods are proposed.

Methods: The fecal concentration of human pancreatic elastase (E1) has been assessed for diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. For sensitivity, fecal E1 determination in 23 healthy children were studied.

Results: Sensitivity to detect pancreatic insufficiency was 100% and specificity 96%.

Conclusions: Fecal E1 concentration appears to be a more sensitive and specific test of pancreatic function than other tests.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency / diagnosis*
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency / enzymology
  • Feces / enzymology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pancreas / enzymology*
  • Pancreatic Elastase / analysis*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Pancreatic Elastase