Fecal fat analyses in chronic pancreatitis importance of fat ingestion before stool collection
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Objective: Quantitative determination of fecal fat still is the gold standard for measuring malabsorption. We evaluated the importance of standardized food intake before and under the collection of feces.
Material and Methods: In a project, evaluating patients with suspected chronic pancreatitis (CP) and healthy volunteers (HC), stools were collected for 72 hours coupled to registration of nutritional intake over five consecutive days. Patient groups were created by a modified Layer score, which includes imaging findings, clinical parameters and pancreas function testing.
Results: We found 12 patients with CP, 11 patients without CP and 13 healthy individuals in our database. Median fecal fat in CP patients was 12 g/day, in non-CP patients 5 g/day and in healthy controls 5 g/day. Median fat absorption coefficient was 81% in those with chronic pancreatitis, 92% in those without CP and 92% in healthy controls. Corresponding median fat intake was 65 g/day, 68 g/day and 81 g/day in the respective groups. Spearman Rank Order Correlation between fecal fat (g/d) and fat absorption coefficient in all study subjects (n = 36) was good (-0.88 (p<0.001)). When we stratified groups according to fat intake, correlation between fecal fat and fat absorption was also good (-0.86 to -0.95).
Conclusion: In the diagnoses of fat malabsorption, calculating the ratio of fat absorption did not give additional information compared to fecal fat.