Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy in Patients with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency treated with pancreatin for up to one year experienced improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms and reduction in the severity of their recurrent pain.

Patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency treated with pancreatin for up to one year experienced improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms and reduction in the severity of their recurrent pain.

The authors of “Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy in Patients With Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Due to Chronic Pancreatitis: A 1-Year Disease Management Study on Symptom Control and Quality of Life,” published in the journal Pancreas, evaluated the effectiveness of treatment with the pancreatic enzyme replacement pancreatin in a group of patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP) with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).

Researchers recruited two cohorts of patients: those who were already receiving treatment with pancreatin (n=206) and treatment-naïve patients with newly diagnosed EPI (n=88). Patients’ symptoms were documented and quality of life was assessed using the gastrointestinal quality of life index (GIQLI) at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year.

The authors reported that “the proportion of patients experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms and recurrent pain after 1 year was significantly reduced in both cohorts (P < 0.001). The alleviation of symptoms was reflected in GIQLI score improvements at 1 year in both cohorts (P < 0.001), independent of CP severity and etiology. Improvements in GIQLI score were more pronounced in cohort 2 (P < 0.001).”

Based on these results, the authors concluded that treatment with pancreatin is associated with symptom relief and improvement in quality of life in patients with CP and EPI.