In a previous study, a significantly higher prevalence of giardiasis was found in patients with cystic fibrosis compared with a control population (28.0 versus 6.3%, P<0.0006). In this study, the prevalence of giardiasis in an adult population with chronic pancreatitis was investigated. The test population consisted of 15 patients with alcoholic pancreatitis and 50 volunteers with hypertension or orthopedic problems who were surveyed for Giardia lamblia by counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CIE) in fecal samples. CIE results were positive in four of 15 patients (27%) with chronic pancreatitis and negative in all control subjects (P<0.001). It was concluded that patients with chronic pancreatitis, similar to patients with cystic fibrosis, have a previously unrecognized increased prevalence of giardiasis compared with a control population. It is important to investigate for G lamblia in any patient with pancreatic insufficiency whose diarrhea is difficult to control by dietary measures of pancreatic enzyme supplementation.
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