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Lipase Test

Lipase Test

Lipase is an enzyme produced by the pancreas. It is usually used to confirm or exclude a diagnosis of pancreatitis.

How the Test is Performed

The Lipase test requires a few millilitres of blood from a vein.

Medical Conditions and Symptoms

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.

Test Results Explained

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.

Related Specialists

Related Procedures

  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

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