University of Oulu

Pancreatic and hepatobiliary disorders in inflammatory bowel disease

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Author: Heikius, Bengt1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
2Vaasa Central Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 6.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: 2000
Publish Date: 2000-08-28
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Auditorium 10 of the University Hospital of Oulu, on October 6th, 2000, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Docent Risto Julkunen
Docent Isto Nordback


Extraintestinal manifestations in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have been described with varying frequencies. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of pancreatic duct abnormalities, exocrine and endocrine dysfunction, elevated pancreatic enzymes, hepato-biliary disease, coexisting cholangiographic and pancreatographic duct changes, and elevated serum levels of fibrosis markers in IBD, and to correlate the findings with clinical, endoscopic and histologic variables.

From a local patient register, 237 patients were randomly selected and studied. Of these, 170 had ulcerative colitis (UC), 46 had Crohn’s disease (CD), and 21 had indeterminate colitis (IC). A detailed history was obtained from medical records and in a face-to-face interview. The patients were screened with a para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) test and, for pancreatic enzymes, liver function tests, serum aminoterminal propeptide of type III procollagen (PIIINP), and laminin. Further pancreatic evaluation included endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreato-graphy (ERCP), ultrasound (US), secretin test, and glucagon C-peptide test. Further hepatobiliary evaluation consisted of ERCP, US, and liver biopsy.

In IBD, the prevalence rates of pancreatic duct abnormalities and exocrine dysfunction were 8% and 4%, respectively. Parallel impairment of exocrine and endocrine functions was shown. Acute idiopathic pancreatitis may complicate IBD. About 7–17% presented with elevated pancreatic enzymes. Enzyme elevation was associated with extensive and histologically active disease and, in some cases, with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Abnormal liver test results were commoner in patients with CD than in patients with UC (30% versus 11%). The prevalence of PSC in IBD was 11%, which is higher than previously reported (3.7–7.5%). PSC was commoner in patients with CD than in patients with UC (17.4% versus 7.6%). About half of the PSC patients had concomitant pancreatic duct changes, and the prevalence of concurrent cholangiographic and pancreatographic duct changes in IBD was 4.6%. Both serum PIIINP and laminin were increased in IBD patients. This was not only seen in patients with hepatobiliary disease and PSC, but also in patients with pancreatic disease.

In conclusion, pancreatic and hepatobiliary complications in IBD occur with high and similar frequencies in all IBD categories and are associated with each other. They are not clearly associated with the clinical course of IBD.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 951-42-5756-1
ISBN Print: 951-42-5755-3
Issue: 608
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2000. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.