Alterations of vitamin D3 metabolism in young women with various grades of chronic pancreatitis

J Teichmann, S T W Mann, H Stracke, U Lange, P D Hardt, H U Klör, R G Bretzel
European Journal of Medical Research 2007 August 16, 12 (8): 347-50

BACKGROUND: There are still too few conclusive reports about conspicuous vitamin D-deficiency in young female patients with chronic pancreatitis, or any connection of the deficiency to the severity of the disease. Therefore the aim of this study was to examine marker of vitamin D3 metabolism in female patients with episode of biliary pancreatitis to determine if increased severity of the disease would correlate with impaired vitamin D3 metabolism.

METHODS: Between 1996 and 2003, we investigated 53 premenopausal patients with an average age of approximately 33 years suffering from an episode of chronic pancreatitis, as well as 30 female healthy controls with an average age of 32.4 years. The severity of chronic pancreatitis in patients was determined via endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography (ERCP) and assigned to 1 of 3 grades based on the Cambridge classification. Additional parameter assessed were demographics, smoking, consumption of alcohol and CD-transferrin, fasting metabolic parameters, biochemical markers of vitamin D3 metabolism and fecal elastase 1. None of the patients received hormone replacement therapy, Vitamin D or Calcium-supplementation.

RESULTS: The serum levels of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH2)D] were significantly reduced compared to female healthy controls. Fecal elastase 1 correlated with this classification of severity of chronic pancreatitis (p < 0.01). Furthermore, fecal elastase 1 of patients correlated the same way with both D-vitamins (p <0.01). The level of both D3 vitamins in patients were significantly lowered when the content of fecal elastase 1 was under 200 microg/g compared to the others [for 1,25-(OH2)D3 p < 0.01; 25-OH- D3 p < 0.01].

CONCLUSION: Premenopausal patients with chronic pancreatitis are at risk of developing decreased levels of 1,25(OH2)D3. This fact may contribute to a negative calcium balance and alteration of bone metabolism. Therefore, ERCP and fecal elastase 1 verify the severity grade of a chronic pancreatitis, and thus show a vitamin D3 deficiency in young women, depending on the progress of disease.

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