Pancreozymin in man as in animals appears to act as a specific enzyme stimulant. The preparations of pancreozymin used in these experiments also contain cholecystokinin, which causes the gall bladder to contract, and a smooth muscle stimulant, possibly substance P.
The duodenal contents obtained in response to a standard dose of secretin and pancreozymin have been collected quantitatively in man and the volume and amount of bicarbonate, amylase, trypsin, and lipase measured in order to study pancreatic function. The results of 105 tests undertaken on a normal group, in pancreatic and biliary disease, and in non-pancreatic steatorrhoea have been analysed.
In localized pancreatic lesions and after recovery from acute pancreatitis, normal function is often retained. Mild functional impairment may be demonstrated only by a poor enzyme output in the post-pancreozymin fractions, while at a later stage bicarbonate output is affected and finally the volume of the duodenal contents is reduced. The secretin-pancreozymin test is most valuable, therefore, in the more chronic and advanced forms of pancreatic disease in which it gives a good assessment of residual pancreatic function. In diagnosis care must be taken in interpreting a functional test in terms of anatomical pathology. The test has proved useful not only in diagnosis but also as a guide to treatment and an index of prognosis.
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