The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between pancreas and small intestine evaluating the endoscopic and histopathologic findings of the proximal small intestine in pancreatic diseases.
Fifty patients (18 patients with chronic pancreatitis, 17 patients with pancreatic cancer, 15 control subjects) underwent enteroscopy using a prototype enteroscope. The villous height of the jejunum on bioptic specimens was measured, and the mean values of the villi were compared among the 3 groups. Exocrine function was calculated by the pancreatic function diagnostic test, and the correlation between the recovery rate of p-aminobenzoic acid and the villous height was assessed. Finally, the distribution of the K cells secreting glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and the L cells secreting glucagon-like peptide 1 in the duodenum and jejunum was investigated using immunohistochemistry for glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon-like peptide 1.
The mean villous height in chronic pancreatitis (328 ± 67 μm) was significantly lower than that in pancreatic cancer (413 ± 57 μm) and control subjects (461 ± 97 μm) (P = 0.004 and P < 0.0001, respectively). A positive correlation was found between the recovery rate of p-aminobenzoic acid and the villous height (r = 0.52, P = 0.0001). The presence of K and L cells was verified in the duodenum and the jejunum.
Close relationship between pancreas and small intestine was demonstrated.