Document Detail

Faecal elastase 1 levels in premature and full term infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12598497     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Determination of faecal elastase 1 (FE1) is a simple, relatively inexpensive, non-invasive, highly specific and sensitive test for determining pancreatic function. Secretion of pancreatic enzymes varies during infancy, but there are almost no specific data on the ontogeny of elastase 1 in human babies. AIM: To study FE1 levels in preterm and term babies, and to determine the possible effect of gestational and postconceptual age on these levels. METHODS: Serial stool samples were collected and tested for FE1 level from 77 premature and full term infants. FE1 levels were determined by a commercially available enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. RESULTS: A total of 232 stool samples were collected from 77 neonates. The FE1 level measured in the first stool sample (meconium) was below normal (200 micro g/g stool) in all samples regardless of gestational age. Sixty three neonates had at least two samples tested for FE1 level. The mean (SD) level of FE1 in sample 1 was 45.9 (51.1) micro g/g stool and was significantly (p < 0.001) lower than in sample 2 (243.0 (164.9) micro g/g stool). The lower the gestational age of the newborn, the more time it took for FE1 to reach normal levels. CONCLUSIONS: FE1 levels in meconium are low, and studies in meconium should be avoided if pancreatic sufficiency is to be determined. FE1 reaches normal levels by day 3 in term newborns and by 2 weeks in infants born before 28 weeks gestation. Normal levels are reached sooner in infants of more advanced gestational age who start enteral feeding earlier.
M Kori; A Maayan-Metzger; R Shamir; L Sirota; G Dinari
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Archives of disease in childhood. Fetal and neonatal edition     Volume:  88     ISSN:  1359-2998     ISO Abbreviation:  Arch. Dis. Child. Fetal Neonatal Ed.     Publication Date:  2003 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-02-24     Completed Date:  2003-04-10     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9501297     Medline TA:  Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  F106-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Institute of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petah Tikva, Israel.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / metabolism
Biological Markers / analysis
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
Feces / enzymology*
Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature / metabolism*
Meconium / enzymology
Pancreatic Elastase / analysis*
Pancreatic Function Tests / methods
Reference Values
Sensitivity and Specificity
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Biological Markers; EC Elastase

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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