Pancreatic elastase 1 in feces of preterm and term infants

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Karl Nissler - , TUD Dresden University of Technology (Author)
  • Irene Von Katte - , TUD Dresden University of Technology (Author)
  • Angela Huebner - , Department of Paediatrics, TUD Dresden University of Technology (Author)
  • Jobst Henker - , TUD Dresden University of Technology (Author)


Background: Determination of fecal pancreatic elastase 1 (E1) is a reliable and noninvasive test of exocrine pancreatic function. Adult reference values of greater than 200 μg E1/g feces do not seem to be applicable to early infancy because of immature pancreatic function. Because reference values for infants do not exist, the current study was aimed to define reference values for preterm and term infants up to 12 months of age. Methods: The authors measured pancreatic E1 concentration in feces of 148 infants up to 12 months of age. Infants with known bowel or pancreatic disorders were excluded from the study. Results: The authors found that 96.8% of all children had E1 concentrations greater than an adult lower limit after 2 weeks of life, independent of gestational age. Up to 48 hours after birth, none of the preterm infants had an E1 concentration of greater than 30 μg/g meconium, whereas 43% of the term infants had normal adult values. Conclusions: The adult reference value for pancreatic E1 of greater than 200 μg/g feces can be applied to infants older than 2 weeks, independent of gestational age, birth weight, and the type of nutrition.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

External IDs

PubMed 11479404



  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, Neonatal values, Pancreatic elastase 1