Does Pancreatic Enzyme Supplementation Reduce Pain in Patients with Chronic Pancreatitis: A Meta-Analysis

Brown, Alphonso; Hughes, Michael; Tenner, Scott; Banks, Peter A.
November 1997
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Nov1997, Vol. 92 Issue 11, p2032
Academic Journal
Objective: Pancreatic enzyme therapy is widely used in the treatment of pain in chronic pancreatitis. The aim of our study was to perform a meta-analysis to determine whether pancreatic enzyme supplementation significantly decreases abdominal pain in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Methods: From a MEDLINE search, we identified, evaluated, and subjected to a meta-analysis, six randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Important features of data extraction included the method of subject inclusion, definition of disease, enzyme preparation, response to pancreatic enzyme therapy versus placebo, and modality for measuring response. Results: In the meta-analysis, the pooled estimate of the percentage of patients per study who preferred enzymes relative to placebo was 52% (95% confidence interval, 45-60%). A test of homogeneity indicated that there was no statistically significant heterogeneity across studies in the percentage of patients preferring enzymes. Conclusion: Statistical analysis demonstrates no significant benefit of supplemental pancreatic enzyme therapy to relieve pain associated with chronic pancreatitis.


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