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April 1989

Exocrine Pancreatic Function in Sjögren's Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Internal Medicine Service, Hospital del Mar (Drs Coll and Tomas); the Gastroenterology Service (Dr Navarro) and Biochemistry Department (Dr Elena), Hospital Clinic i Provincial; and Rheumatology Service (Dr Martinez), Hospital de l'Esperança, Universidad Autónoma, Barcelona, Spain.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(4):848-852. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390040066013

• Pancreatic function testing was carried out in 19 patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS) (nine primary type, ten secondary) by the N-benzoyl-tyrosil–p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) test, serum immunoreactive trypsin (IRT) levels, and stool fat measurements to evaluate the incidence and type of exocrine pancreatic alterations in this disease. Exocrine pancreatic impairment was found to be present in 63% of the patients. Three types of secretory patterns were observed: (1) normal PABA test results and normal IRT levels (37% [7/19] of the patients); (2) normal PABA test results and elevated IRT levels (42% [8/19]; and (3) low PABA test results and elevated IRT levels (21% [4/19]), including two patients with steatorrhea. Functional pancreatic impairment tended to be more severe in patients with longer disease duration and it was related to the degree of alteration of salivary flow but not to labial salivary gland histologic changes or the type of SS. Inasmuch as hypertrypsinemia was the common marker of pancreatic dysfunction in all patients, we suggest a periodic measurement of serum IRT levels in the follow-up of patients with SS to detect early stages of pancreatic involvement.

(Arch Intern Med 1989;149:848-852)