Test Detail
Overview
Interpreting Results
FAQ's

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Written by
Dr. Shreya Gupta
BDS, MDS - Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Reviewed by
Dr. Lalit Mohan Gupta
MBBS, MD - Microbiology
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Lipase

You need to provide
Blood
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.

Overview


What is Lipase?

Lipase is an enzyme primarily secreted by the pancreas, which helps in the digestion of dietary fats (lipids). The Lipase Test measures the level of the lipase enzyme in the blood.

Why is Lipase done?

The Lipase Test is performed:

·         To help in the diagnosis of acute as well as chronic pancreatitis

·         To help determine a blockage in the pancreatic duct

·         To monitor treatment effectiveness for pancreatitis

·         To help diagnose other conditions like kidney diseases, gallbladder inflammation etc.



What does Lipase Measure?

Lipase is an enzyme, which helps in the breakdown and digestion of dietary triglycerides (fats) into simple fatty acids for absorption. Lipase is secreted primarily by the pancreas, and in small amounts by the stomach, intestines, and the liver. The pancreas secretes lipase into the pancreatic duct, which flows into the duodenum (anterior portion of the small intestine). Normally only a small amount of lipase is secreted into the blood and is maintained at this low level. However, in the case of conditions like pancreatitis, blockage of the pancreatic duct, pancreatic cysts or tumors, etc., the levels of lipase in the blood get increased.

The Lipase Test may be performed together with Amylase Test to help in the diagnosis of pancreatitis or other conditions. Amylase levels also increase in case of pancreatitis. In Pancreatitis, Lipase rises almost at the same time as amylase (4-8 hrs) but the elevation lasts much longer (7-14 days) as compared to amylase.

Interpreting Lipase results


Interpretations

Normal levels:

Below 1 year age: Up to 8 U/L

1-9 years age: 5-31 U/L

10-18 years age: 7-39 U/L

Above 18 years age: Less than 67 U/L

Higher than normal levels of lipase are usually associated with pancreatitis, blockage of the pancreatic duct, pancreatic tumors, inflammation of the gallbladder, and kidney diseases. In case of acute pancreatitis, lipase levels rise quickly within about 4 to 8 hours of an attack and may remain high for up to 14 days.

Very low levels of lipase may indicate pancreatic damage as in diseases like cystic fibrosis.

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lipase


Frequently Asked Questions about Lipase

Q. How is this test performed?
This test is performed on a blood sample. A syringe with a fine needle is used to withdraw blood from a blood vessel in your arm. The healthcare provider will tie an elastic band around your arm to make the blood vessels swell with blood. This makes it easier to withdraw blood. You may be asked to tightly clench your fist. Once the veins are clearly visible, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the needle is inserted into the blood vessel to collect the sample. You will feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample once collected will then be sent to the laboratory.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, since this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, in very rare cases, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma formation (blood collection under the skin), bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
Q. Is there any preparation required before the Lipase test?
A fasting period of 8 to 12 hours may be prescribed before the test is performed. Inform the doctor of any medications you may be taking as certain medications may affect the test results. No other specific preparations are usually required before the Lipase Test.
Q. What additional tests can be prescribed by your doctor in case of abnormal Lipase test result?
Additional tests that may be prescribed in case of abnormal Lipase test result are: · Amylase Test · Abdominal Imaging Tests (CT Scan, MRI, Ultrasound, or MR cholangiopancreatography ) · Liver Function Tests · Kidney Function Tests · Blood Sugar Tests
Q. What is Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis refers to the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach that secretes various enzymes along with lipase for the digestion of food. It also secretes hormones insulin and glucagon that help to regulate blood sugar levels. Pancreatitis may be acute or chronic. Acute pancreatitis is commonly caused by gallbladder stones. The pancreas secretes its enzymes into the pancreatic duct, which joins with the common bile duct from the liver and gallbladder to form a channel which opens in the small intestine. This brings both the pancreatic and hepatic (liver) secretions into the small intestine for digestion. If a gallbladder stone moves into the common channel and becomes stuck there, it can block the entire biliary and pancreatic ducts. This may cause inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis may also be caused by pancreatic tumors. Chronic or long-term pancreatitis may be caused by repeated attacks of acute pancreatitis. It is also caused due to autoimmune as well as genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis. Acute as well as chronic pancreatitis is also caused by alcoholism. Chronic pancreatitis can give rise to some serious long-term complications, including: · Pancreatic stones · Malnutrition · Pancreatic infection · Diabetes · Pancreatic cancer · Renal damage
Q. What are the common symptoms of pancreatitis?
Common symptoms of pancreatitis include: · Abdominal pain that may spread to the chest and back · Indigestion · Nausea and vomiting · Tenderness in the abdomen · Rapid weight loss · Abdominal bloating and flatulence · Frequent hiccups · Fever · Malabsorption · Steatorrhea (fatty or greasy, foul-smelling stool)
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