Understanding Exocrine
Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

Normal pancreatic exocrine function

The secretion of pancreatic enzymes is an integral component of the digestion and absorption of nutrients. When nutrients arrive in the proximal small bowel, pancreatic enzymes begin to break them down.2,3

The “normal” amount of pancreatic enzyme secretion varies with content and volume of the meal ingested3

Meal-associated lipase averages 720,000 units per meal, ranging from 480,000 to 960,000 units per meal

Meal-associated lipase averages 720,000 units per meal, ranging from 480,000 to 960,000 units per meal.3

EPI is a condition that affects the pancreas

EPI is a condition caused by inadequate production, delivery, or activity of the three primary pancreatic digestive enzymes—lipase, amylase, and protease.4,5

Steatorrhea is observed when pancreatic enzyme output drops below 10% of normal6

There may be significant maldigestion and malabsorption without the most common clinical manifestation of steatorrhea, which may not occur until disease is advanced7,8

Fat maldigestion is the most profound digestive dysfunction in EPI4

  • Malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K may accompany EPI4
  • Maldigestion and poor absorption of nutrients can lead to malnutrition7,9-11
Learn more about
EPI symptoms
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Symptoms of EPI are not always evident

Recognize the Signs
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EPI is largely a clinical diagnosis*

*Tests can help confirm a diagnosis of EPI.

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What should a treatment plan for EPI include?

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