International Journal of Pancreatology

, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp 497–502 | Cite as

Exocrine pancreatic secretion in the elderly

  • B. Vellas
  • D. Balas
  • J. Moreau
  • M. Bouisson
  • F. Senegas-Balas
  • M. Guidet
  • A. Ribet
Research Papers


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

Aging Human pancreas Functional pancreatic tests Lipase Amylase Chymotrypsin Bicarbonate 


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Vellas
    • 3
  • D. Balas
    • 1
  • J. Moreau
    • 2
  • M. Bouisson
    • 1
  • F. Senegas-Balas
    • 1
  • M. Guidet
    • 1
  • A. Ribet
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité INSERM 151, Bat L3CHU de RangueilToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Service des Maladies de l'Appareil DigestifCHU de RangueilToulouse
  3. 3.Service de Medecine GeriatriqueCHU de PurpanToulouseFrance

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