Exocrine pancreatic function is preserved in systemic sclerosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) has been suggested to cause exocrine pancreatic dysfunction. However, a case-control-based autopsy study failed to associate systemic sclerosis with any pancreatic histopathology. The primary objective of this study was to examine the exocrine pancreatic function in consecutive SSc patients in relation to an age- and sex-matched control group. A secondary objective was to relate exocrine pancreatic function to radiological, laboratory, and clinical SSc characteristics. METHODS: One hundred twelve consecutive patients fulfilling the 2013 American Congress of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism criteria for SSc and 52 control subjects were matched for sex and age. Exocrine pancreatic function was assessed by ELISA-based measurement of fecal elastase, and levels ≤ 200 μg/g were considered pathological, i.e., representing exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Patients were characterized regarding SSc manifestations including gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary function, by use of laboratory and clinical examinations. Pancreas parenchyma characteristics were evaluated by high-resolution computer tomography (HRCT). RESULTS: A similar proportion of subjects exhibited pathological levels of fecal elastase among SSc patients (6/112; 5.4%) and control subjects (3/52; 5.8%). Patients with fecal elastase ≤ 200 μg/g did not differ from other SSc patients with respect to laboratory and clinical characteristics, including malnutrition. SSc subjects with low levels of fecal elastase displayed significantly lower pancreas attenuation on HRCT examinations compared to the control subjects. CONCLUSIONS: In this study encompassing 112 consecutive SSc patients and 52 matched control subjects, we were unable to associate systemic sclerosis with clinically significant exocrine pancreatic dysfunction.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes

Keywords

  • Fecal elastase, Malnutrition, Pancreas, Systemic sclerosis
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalArthritis Research & Therapy
Volume21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 12
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes