The methods at present available for determining the activity of the external pancreatic secretion are based chiefly on the estimation of the enzyme concentration of the duodenal contents and the presence of fat and starches in the stools. Such methods are helpful in advanced disease, but wide normal variations detract from their usefulness in earlier diagnosis and discourage their employment in laboratory experimentation.
The method which I have evolved is based on the estimation of the digestion of starch in the upper intestine. This is accomplished by giving starch by mouth, and studying the rate at which it is broken down by following the rise in blood sugar.
Traces of diastatic ferments are present in most body fluids, but they are produced in quantity only by the salivary glands and pancreas. Hahn and Meyer1 found that the amylase from these two sources has similar enzymatic properties. Its activity is dependent
ROSENTHAL SM. PANCREATIC FUNCTION AND UPPER INTESTINAL DIGESTION: A NEW METHOD OF STUDY. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1928;41(6):867–874. doi:10.1001/archinte.1928.00130180100006
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