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Usefulness of steatocrit test in monitoring malabsorption in cystic fibrosis

Usefulness of steatocrit test in monitoring malabsorption in cystic fibrosis

Italian Journal of Gastroenterology 20(5): 255-258

Steatocrit test, a recently proved simple method to evaluate faecal fat content, was used to monitor fat malabsorption in 14 patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). This study was designed to evaluate the correlation coefficient between steatocrit values and the coefficient of fat absorption, tested by means of the Van der Kamer method for steatorrhoea in patients with CF, and to evaluate the possible correlation of the steatocrit values with the state of nutrition of patients with CF receiving different kinds of enzymatic therapy. In all patients at the moment of the diagnosis the following were recorded: weight (W), height (H), cholesterolaemia (C), triglyceridaemia (T), haemoglobinaemia (Hb) albuminaemia (A), steatocrit values and coefficient of fat absorption. In patients who showed pancreatic insufficiency, we recorded the same parameters after 6 months of conventional preparations and after 6 months of pH-sensitive microsphere therapy. The correlation curve between steatocrit and the coefficient of fat absorption was highly significant (r = -0.667; p < 0.01). The single steatocrit values obtained in patients progressively decreased from the first phase (no therapy) to the second phase (conventional therapy) and to the third phase (pH-sensitive preparations therapy). The nutritional parameters progressively improved during the three phases with a statistically significant difference before and after pH-sensitive therapy for W and Hb (p < 0.05). In conclusion steatocrit test had a perfect correlation with both the fine-evaluation of steatorrhoea by the Van der Kamer method and with the clinical course of every single patient. The association of the steatocrit test to the steatorrhoea measurement using the Van der Kamer method is therefore recommended in order to simplify the expensive and laborious follow-up of CF patients.

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