Basal and postprandial serum concentrations of pancreatic polypeptide (PP) were measured in 22 normal subjects, in 6 patients with a history of acute pancreatitis, in 21 patients with chronic pancreatitis and in 6 patients with previous pancreaticoduodenectomy. Eighteen of the 21 with chronic pancreatitis and all 6 with pancreaticoduodenectomy had abnormally low serum PP-responses to the standard test meal, while all patients with a history of acute pancreatitis had normal postprandial increases in serum PP. The impaired serum PP-responses to food in patients with chronic pancreatitis were not related to the aetiology of pancreatitis, to glucose tolerance, to exocrine pancreatic function (absorption of fat) or to pancreatic calcifications. It is concluded that impaired postprandial serum PP responses in patients with pancreatitis indicate damage to the pancreas.
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