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The Lipase test requires a few millilitres of blood from a vein.
Abdominal pain, particularly in the epigastric region (upper abdomen) and radiating (going through) to the back, may be an indication of pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas. Major risk factors for this disease are gallstones and excessive alcohol intake.
A markedly elevated level of lipase in the bloodstream (the enzyme can also be tested for in urine but this is rarely performed) almost certainly indicates a diagnosis of pancreatitis (inflamation of the pancreas). A normal level may sometimes be seen in a flare-up of chronic pancreatitis, when the pancreas is so severely damaged from previous episodes of inflammation that there is insufficient pancreatic tissue to raise the enzyme level in the blood.
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