Background: The secretin-pancreozymin test has been accepted as the gold standard for testing exocrine pancreatic function. However, this test is invasive, time-consuming, and expensive. Therefore, in daily practice, more simple, indirect methods are proposed.
Methods: The fecal concentration of human pancreatic elastase (E1) has been assessed for diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. For sensitivity, fecal E1 determination in 23 healthy children were studied.
Results: Sensitivity to detect pancreatic insufficiency was 100% and specificity 96%.
Conclusions: Fecal E1 concentration appears to be a more sensitive and specific test of pancreatic function than other tests.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Prof. Dr. J. Henker, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Technology Dresden, Fetscherstrasse 74, D-01307 Dresden, Germany.
Received August 29, 1995; revisions received December 19, 1995, February 9, 1996; accepted February 14, 1996.