Contribution of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy to survival and quality of life in patients with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency.


Department of Internal Medicine, Israelitic Hospital, Hamburg 22297, Germany. [Email]


The objective of this study was to analyze the current evidence for the use of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) in affecting survival and quality of life in patients with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (PEI). Systematic searches of the literature were performed using the PubMed database. Articles were selected for inclusion if they reported findings from trials assessing the effects of PERT on quality of life, survival, malabsorption, growth parameters (such as height, body weight and body mass index), or gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal pain, stool consistency and flatulence). PERT improved PEI-related malabsorption and weight maintenance in patients with cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and post-surgical states. In patients with chronic pancreatitis, PERT improved PEI-related symptoms and quality of life measures. Several small retrospective studies have also suggested that PERT may have a positive impact on survival, but long-term studies assessing this effect were not identified. PERT is effective for treating malnutrition and supporting weight maintenance, and it is associated with improved quality of life and possibly with enhanced survival in patients with PEI. However, there is evidence that not all patients with PEI receive adequate PERT. Future work should aim to assess the long-term effects of PERT on the survival of patients with PEI.


Chronic pancreatitis,Cystic fibrosis,Malabsorption,Pancreatic cancer,Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy,Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency,Post-surgical states,Quality of life,Survival,

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