Fast Five Quiz: Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Management

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD


March 08, 2021

Increasing evidence shows that the therapeutic effects of PERT surpass just the correction of steatorrhea and weight loss. In a large prospective longitudinal cohort study in patients with CP, EPI was shown to be an independent risk factor for mortality. Although the impact of PERT was not directly assessed, an analysis of CP patients who were receiving PERT following pancreatic surgery showed improved survival. Similarly, improved survival outcomes have been reported in several large cohort studies in patients using PERT post-pancreatic cancer surgery.

Compelling data also point to the benefits of PERT in pancreatic cancer. A recent population-based analysis showed that among pancreatic cancer patients receiving PERT, survival time more than doubled. This benefit was equivalent to the survival advantage of receiving chemotherapy or undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer.

For patients whose symptoms do not improve with PERT, alternative diagnoses may include small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, secondary pancreatic or nonpancreatic malignancy, or an unrelated condition such as celiac disease.

Learn more about PERT.

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