OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to evaluate a functional correlation between the pancreas and the small intestine and the association of this relationship with nutritional status, using magnifying enteroscopy.
METHODS: The subjects were adults aged 20 years or older who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. An endoscope was inserted into the jejunum, and 10% glucose was sprayed under magnifying observation to evaluate changes in blood flow in the villous capillary network. Mucosal biopsy was performed before and after spraying to evaluate the incretin response in the jejunal mucosa.
RESULTS: A total of 124 patients participated in the study. There was a positive correlation between villous blood flow change and exocrine pancreas function (R = 0.4337, P < 0.0001). Changes of gastric inhibitory polypeptide and glucagon-like peptide messenger RNAs in biopsy samples were positively correlated with endocrine pancreas function in 88 patients without treatment for diabetes (R = 0.4314, P = 0.0012; R = 0.4112, P = 0.0081). In patients with lower villous blood flow change and decreased pancreatic exocrine function, the prognostic nutritional index were significantly lower (P = 0.0098), compared with other patients.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first evidence of a close functional correlation between the pancreas and the small intestine.
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