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About the test
What is this test done for?
To measure the amount of lipase levels in the blood. Lipase is an enzyme that is released by pancreas.
Why is it Done?
To check for the amount of lipase released in the blood from pancreas. This happens in response to damage to the pancreas. It helps in identifying diseases like acute pancreatitis, peritonitis, pancreatic cyst and strangulated or infarcted bowel.
When should it be performed?

This test is performed when

  • a patient presents with symptoms of acute pancreatitis like-
    • Pain in the abdomen around the navel and it radiates to the back
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Fever
    • Diarrhea
    • Jaundice
    • Rapid pulse rate
  • to monitor treatment of pancreatitis
  • to detect pancreatic cancer
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. No special preparations like fasting required. Avoid medicines like codeine, indomethacin, thiazide diuretics and oral contraceptive pills for about 24 hours before performing the test, as these drugs are known to increase lipase levels.

The test result is normal, if levels are 0 – 160 U/L. It means

  • No pancreatitis
  • No suggestive evidence of peritonitis, infarcted or strangulated bowel or pancreatic cyst

The test results are high, if levels are > 160 U/L. It means

  • Acute pancreatitis (very high levels > 400 U/L) and chronic pancreatitis (borderline elevated or > 160U/L but < 400 U/L)
  • Peritonitis
  • Strangulated or infarcted bowel
  • Pancreatic cyst
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Acute gall bladder inflammation
  • Small bowel obstruction
  • Alcoholism
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Post ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)
Other Tests
  • Amylase levels
    • High levels of amylase in blood along with lipase indicate acute pancreatitis
  • Triglyceride levels
    • High levels of triglycerides in blood indicate pancreatitis
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