The steatocrit: A simple method for monitoring fat malabsorption in patients with cystic fibrosis

C. Colombo, R. Maiavacca, M. Ronchi, E. Consalvo, M. Amoretti, A. Giunta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Steatocrit was determined through microcentrifugation of fecal homogenate from 110 pediatric controls and 107 patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). For 74 CF patients, steatocrit was determined in the same fecal material collected to determine a tat balance. In controls, steatocrit value was 0.7 - 1.0%, which was significantly lower than values found in CF patients with a coefficient of fat excretion 25% of intake (11.3 + 4.3%). In the 74 CF patients, steatocrit was directly correlated to the coefficient of fat excretion (r 0.93: P <0.001). We performed steatocrit several times in the course of the 1st year of life in 33 infants with CF diagnosed by means of CF screening. Values obtained at the time of diagnosis, before starting enzymatic therapy, were relatively high: they showed a progressive decrease when, using steatocrit as a guide, the dose of pancreatic enzymes had been increased. The normalization of steatocrit values was accompanied by a better growth rate in the majority of these infants, confirming the importance of an optimal early correction of pancreatic insufficiency. We propose that this simple semiquantitative test can be usefully performed for the frequent monitoring of fat absorption and for checking the response to enzymatic therapy in patients with CF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-930
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1987


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Fat malabsorption
  • Pancreatic enzyme therapy
  • Steatocrit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Histology


Dive into the research topics of 'The steatocrit: A simple method for monitoring fat malabsorption in patients with cystic fibrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this