What is the role of duodenal aspirates in the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis?

Updated: Jul 15, 2019
  • Author: Jason L Huffman, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Intubation of the duodenum usually is performed with a Dreiling tube, which allows for separate aspiration of the gastric and duodenal contents. The methodology varies depending on the specific laboratory; however, exogenous secretin with cholecystokinin (CCK) is used to achieve maximal stimulation of the pancreas. The output of pancreatic bicarbonate, protease, amylase, and lipase then is measured in the duodenal aspirates.

This test currently is available only in specialized centers. While the greatest sensitivity can be obtained in prolonged infusions of a secretagogue to uncover a decreased pancreatic secretory reserve, it is impractical for general clinical use.

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