Pancreatic enzyme supplementation in cystic fibrosis patients before and after fibrosing colonopathy

John C. Stevens, Karen M. Maguiness, Judy Hollingsworth, Douglas K. Heilman, Sonny K.F. Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Background: In 1994 we cared for nine cystic fibrosis patients with fibresing colonopathy. To evaluate the relationship between fibrosing colonopathy and supplemental pancreatic enzymes we reviewed our dosing of enzymes prior to fibrosing colonopathy development and then evaluated the subsequent effect of drastically reducing pancreatic enzyme dose. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed pancreatic enzyme dosing for 267 cystic fibrosis patients with pancreatic insufficiency. The supplemental enzyme history of nine patients with fibrosing colonopathy was contrasted with the history of 258 nonaffected patients. The pancreatic enzyme doses of 75 patients taking at least 6,000 U lipase/kg/meal were systematically reduced to approximately 2,000 lipase units/kg/meal. We evaluated the effect of this dose reduction on change in height and weight z scores one year after achievement of stable enzyme dose. Results: In the year prior to diagnosis patients with fibrosing colonopathy took a significantly larger pancreatic enzyme dose, whether assessed by highest dose or cumulative dose, than did nonaffected patients. Similar results were observed after controlling for sex and age. All 75 patients on at least 6,000 U lipase/kg/meal were able to tolerate a significant reduction in dose while achieving clinically acceptable nutrient absorption, with no change over one year in height and weight z scores. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate a strong relationship between very high doses of pancreatic enzyme supplementation and formation of fibrosing colonopathy. These very high doses do not appear to be needed for adequate nutrient absorption and growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Fibrosing colonopathy
  • Pancreatic enzyme supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Histology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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