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Digestion. 1993;54 Suppl 2:35-9.

Is there a place for pancreatic enzymes in the treatment of pain in chronic pancreatitis?

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  • Medical Policlinic, University of Würzburg, FRG.


According to the theory of negative feedback regulation of pancreatic enzyme secretion by proteases, treatment with pancreatic extracts has been proposed to lower pain in chronic pancreatitis by decreasing pancreatic duct pressure. However, we have demonstrated in healthy volunteers that intraduodenal application of porcine pancreatic extracts does not inhibit but rather stimulates pancreatic enzyme secretion. This is probably due to the high protein content of porcine pancreatic extracts which may overwhelm a potential inhibitory effect of proteases. In a prospective placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter study to investigate the effect of acid-protected porcine pancreatic extracts on pain in 43 patients with chronic pancreatitis, pain improved in most patients irrespective of whether they started with placebo or verum. There was no significant difference between the two treatment arms. The pancreatic extract that we have used in our study neither inhibits pancreatic enzyme secretion nor is it very efficient in lowering pain in chronic pancreatitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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