International Journal of Pancreatology

, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp 497–502

Exocrine pancreatic secretion in the elderly


  • B. Vellas
    • Service de Medecine GeriatriqueCHU de Purpan
  • D. Balas
    • Unité INSERM 151, Bat L3CHU de Rangueil
  • J. Moreau
    • Service des Maladies de l'Appareil DigestifCHU de Rangueil
  • M. Bouisson
    • Unité INSERM 151, Bat L3CHU de Rangueil
  • F. Senegas-Balas
    • Unité INSERM 151, Bat L3CHU de Rangueil
  • M. Guidet
    • Unité INSERM 151, Bat L3CHU de Rangueil
  • A. Ribet
    • Unité INSERM 151, Bat L3CHU de Rangueil
Research Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF02788208

Cite this article as:
Vellas, B., Balas, D., Moreau, J. et al. International Journal of Pancreatology (1988) 3: 497. doi:10.1007/BF02788208


In order to evaluate impairment of exocrine pancreatic function during aging, 27 subjects (mean age: 36 years±7.8) and 28 subjects (mean age: 72 years±3.2), with no clinical or radiological evidence of digestive disease, were selected. Duodenal aspirates over a 60 min period were obtained during continuous IV infusion of secretin (0.5 U/kg/h) and caerulein (75 ng/kg/h). Bicarbonate, lipase, chymotrypsin, amylase concentrations and output were measured. Bicarbonate, lipase, chymotrypsin concentrations in the aged group were significantly reduced by 17%, 15% and 23% respectively (P<0.05) as compared with those in the young group. In addition, a significant reduction of approximately 45% in bicarbonate and enzyme output levels was observed. This study provides strong evidence for a marked functional involution of the exocrine pancreatic secretion during aging. The potential consequences of this phenomenon on the nutritional status in the elderly are discussed.

Key words

AgingHuman pancreasFunctional pancreatic testsLipaseAmylaseChymotrypsinBicarbonate

Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. (Biomedical Division) 1988