Pancreatic function tests in tropical sprue is pancreas involved?

S. K. Sharma, J. B. Dilawari, B. S. Anand

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2 Scopus citations


Pancreatic functions were studied in 15 patients with tropical sprue. The diagnosis of tropical sprue was made on accepted criteria of demonstrating malabsorption of at least two unrelated food substances in the absence of any other cause for malabsorption in patients residing in a tropical zone. Exogenous secretin (Boots) in a dose of one clinical unit per kg was employed for direct stimulation of exocrine pancreatic secretion. Of the 15 patients, 12 showed normal pancreatic functions. In two patients, volume output was marginally low i.e. 1.6 and 1.6 ml/kg/hr respectively (Normal value > 1.8 ml/kg/hr). In the third patient, volume output was normal but maximum bicarbonate concentration in pancreatic juice was 61.6 mEq/litre (Normal value >80 mEq/litre). None of these three patients, however, had abnormalities in both the parameters of exocrine pancreatic function. Although pancreatic hyposecretion has been reported in patient with tropical sprue when indirect stimulation with Lundh meal was applied to pancreas, yet on direct stimulation with secretin, we found pancreatic functions to be normal. It is therefore concluded that the pancreas is not primarily involved in tropical sprue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-191
Number of pages5
JournalGastroenterologia Japonica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • bicarbonate
  • pancreatic function
  • secretin
  • tropical sprue


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