Sitagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, in patients with short bowel syndrome and colon in continuity: an open-label pilot study

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OBJECTIVE: Patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS) and colon in continuity have better adaptation potential compared with patients with jejunostomy. Adaptation may involve enhanced postprandial secretion of the enteroendocrine hormones glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and GLP-2 which are normally degraded by dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4. Nevertheless, some patients with SBS with colon in continuity suffer from high-volume faecal excretions and have been shown to benefit from treatment with GLP-2. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate efficacy of sitagliptin, a DPP-4 inhibitor, on reducing faecal excretions in this patient group.

DESIGN: In an open-label, case series, proof-of-concept pilot study, 100 mg oral sitagliptin was given two times per day for 8 weeks to patients with SBS with ≥50% colon in continuity with or without the need for parenteral support (PS). To assess intestinal function, metabolic balance studies were done at baseline and following 8 weeks of treatment.

RESULTS: Of the 10 patients planned for enrolment, 8 patients were included; 7 patients completed the study. Although postprandial endogenous GLP-2 concentrations increased by 49 hours×pmol/L (39, 105; p=0.018) (median (min, max)), sitagliptin did not significantly reduce median faecal wet weight (-174 g/day (-1510, 675; p=0.176)) or increase intestinal wet weight absorption. However, heterogeneity in the treatment effect was observed: intestinal wet weight absorption increased in all four patients with intestinal failure. One patient achieved a reduction in PS by 500 mL per administration day.

CONCLUSION: Following this negative, small pilot study, larger, placebo-controlled, studies are needed to establish the therapeutic potential of DPP-4 inhibition in patients with SBS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000604
JournalBMJ Open Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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