Research Article

Preliminary evaluation of a single-day tubeless test of pancreatic function.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 30 May 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:1751
  1. C J Mitchell,
  2. H P Field,
  3. F G Simpson,
  4. A Parkin,
  5. J Kelleher,
  6. M S Losowsky


    The test for pancreatic exocrine function using N-benzoyl-L-tyrosyl-p-aminobenzoic acid (BTP test) does not require duodenal intubation, but misleadingly abnormal results often occur in patients with liver or bowel disease because the p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) released by chymotrypsin hydrolysis of the peptide either is not conjugated or is malabsorbed. This study evaluated a modified BTP test, using a tracer dose of 14C-PABA to eliminate misleading results, to assess exocrine function from a single six-hour collection of urine. The test clearly distinguished all patients with pancreatic steatorrhoea from normal subjects and identified patients with less severe pancreatitis as often as did the Lundh test. Furthermore, in patients with bowel or liver disease the misleadingly abnormal results of the unmodified BTP test were eliminated by the modified test in all but one case. These findings suggest that the modified BTP test provides a practical alternative to conventional tests of pancreatic function that entail duodenal intubation.