Non-specific elevation of immunoreactive trypsinogen in sick infants
Abstract To determine the effect of neonatal illness on immunoreactive trypsinogen (IRT) levels, the IRT values obtained in sick infants transferred to a neonatal intensive care ward were compared with those found in matched controls. IRT levels from dried blood spots collected on day 4–5 of life from 372 sick infants had a mean value of 0.095 log transformed multiples of the median, whilst controls had a mean of −0.013: a highly significant difference. Classification of the sick infants into principal diagnostic categories failed to show any group contributing disproportionately to the observation. In particular, the level of elevation observed in 33 infants with gut abnormalities such as bowel obstruction, duodenal atresia, exomphalos and gastroschisis, in which some degree of pancreatic obstruction might be expected, was not greater than in other hospitalised infants. These data show that sick infants are at increased risk of being identified by an IRT screening programme aimed at detecting infants with cystic fibrosis.
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