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The Lipase test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The Lipase test is a laboratory test used to measure the level of lipase enzyme in the blood. Lipase is an enzyme produced by the pancreas, and its primary function is to aid in the digestion and breakdown of dietary fats. The Lipase test provides valuable information about pancreatic health and is commonly used to diagnose and monitor conditions related to the pancreas.

Also Known As: LPS Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Lipase test ordered?

A Lipase test may be ordered in the following situations:

  1. Evaluation of Pancreatic Disorders: When there is suspicion of pancreatic disease, such as pancreatitis, a Lipase test may be ordered. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, and elevated lipase levels can indicate pancreatic injury or dysfunction.

  2. Assessment of Pancreatic Function: The Lipase test helps assess pancreatic function and can be used to monitor individuals with known pancreatic disorders or those undergoing treatment for pancreatic conditions.

  3. Evaluation of Abdominal Pain: When a person presents with persistent or recurrent abdominal pain, especially in the upper abdomen, a Lipase test may be ordered to help determine if the pancreas is involved.

What does a Lipase blood test check for?

Lipase is one of numerous pancreatic enzymes that aid in the digestion of dietary lipids. This test determines how much lipase is present in the blood.

Lipase travels from the pancreas to the first portion of the small intestine, where it aids in the breakdown of dietary lipids into fatty acids. Lipase is produced mostly by the pancreas, but it is also produced by cells in the tongue, stomach, and liver, which are all involved in digestion and nutritional absorption.

Lipase is normally found in modest amounts in the blood. When pancreatic cells are harmed, as in pancreatitis, or the pancreatic duct is obstructed by a gallstone or, in rare situations, a pancreatic tumor, more lipase enters the bloodstream, resulting in greater blood concentrations.

Lab tests often ordered with a Lipase test:

When a Lipase test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of pancreatic function and gastrointestinal health. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Amylase:

    • Purpose: Measures amylase levels, another enzyme produced by the pancreas.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To confirm or rule out pancreatitis, as amylase levels also rise in acute pancreatitis, often alongside lipase.
  2. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: Provides a broad picture of overall health, including red and white blood cells, and platelets.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To detect signs of infection or inflammation, which can accompany pancreatitis or other abdominal disorders.
  3. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Pancreatic problems can sometimes affect the liver, or similar symptoms can be caused by liver disorders.
  4. Calcium:

    • Purpose: To measure the level of calcium in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Hypocalcemia (low calcium levels) can occur in acute pancreatitis.
  5. Triglycerides:

    • Purpose: To measure the level of triglycerides in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: High triglyceride levels can be a risk factor for pancreatitis.
  6. Blood Glucose:

    • Purpose: To measure blood sugar levels.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Pancreatic disorders, especially chronic pancreatitis, can affect the production of insulin, leading to changes in blood glucose levels.
  7. Kidney Function Test:

    • Purpose: To evaluate kidney function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess overall health and the potential impact of pancreatic disorders on kidney function.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Lipase test, provide a comprehensive view of pancreatic health, potential causes of pancreatic inflammation or damage, and overall abdominal health. They are essential for diagnosing, monitoring, and managing conditions related to the pancreas, including acute and chronic pancreatitis. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual's symptoms, medical history, and initial test results.

Conditions where a Lipase test is recommended:

A Lipase test may be required in the following conditions or situations:

  1. Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis is the most common condition requiring a Lipase test. Elevated lipase levels are a hallmark of acute pancreatitis, which can be caused by various factors such as gallstones, alcohol consumption, certain medications, or infections.

  2. Pancreatic Cancer: Lipase levels may be elevated in individuals with pancreatic cancer, although this elevation is not specific to pancreatic cancer alone. A Lipase test may be used as part of the diagnostic workup for pancreatic cancer or to monitor treatment response.

  3. Pancreatic Trauma or Injury: Lipase levels can rise in cases of pancreatic trauma or injury, such as from physical trauma or surgery involving the pancreas. Monitoring lipase levels helps assess the extent of injury and monitor recovery.

How does my health care provider use a Lipase test?

Healthcare providers use the results of a Lipase test in the following ways:

  1. Diagnosis: Elevated lipase levels, along with clinical symptoms and other diagnostic tests, can help confirm the diagnosis of pancreatitis or other pancreatic disorders.

  2. Monitoring: For individuals with known pancreatic conditions, such as chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, regular monitoring of lipase levels helps assess disease progression, treatment response, and overall pancreatic function.

  3. Treatment Decisions: Lipase levels can guide treatment decisions in pancreatitis. The severity of pancreatitis, as indicated by lipase levels, may influence the need for hospitalization, fluid and electrolyte management, pain control, and nutritional support.

  4. Prognosis: Lipase levels may provide insight into the prognosis of pancreatic conditions. Persistently elevated or fluctuating lipase levels may indicate ongoing inflammation or complications, while declining levels may suggest improvement.

It's important to note that the interpretation of Lipase test results should be done in conjunction with other clinical findings and in consultation with a healthcare provider.

What do my Lipase test results mean?

A high lipase level in the blood could suggest the presence of a pancreas problem.

Lipase levels are usually quite high in acute pancreatitis, generally 5 to 10 times higher than the maximum reference point. Lipase levels normally rise within 4 to 8 hours of an acute pancreatitis incident and stay high for 7 to 14 days. The severity of an acute pancreatic attack cannot be determined by lipase levels.

Pancreatic duct obstruction, pancreatic cancer, and other pancreatic illnesses, as well as gallbladder inflammation and renal dysfunction, can raise concentrations.

Lipase levels in the blood may suggest persistent damage to the pancreas' lipase-producing cells. This can happen in pancreas-related chronic disorders like cystic fibrosis.

Most Common Questions About the Lipase test:

Understanding the Lipase Test

What is the Lipase test?

The Lipase test is a blood test that measures the amount of lipase, an enzyme made primarily by the pancreas, in the blood.

What is the function of lipase?

Lipase is an enzyme that aids in the digestion of fats in the diet. It works in conjunction with other enzymes to break down dietary fat into fatty acids and glycerol, which can be absorbed by the intestines.

Why is the Lipase test important?

The Lipase test is essential in diagnosing and monitoring diseases of the pancreas, such as pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. It's also used to help diagnose and monitor other conditions that cause lipase levels to rise.

Understanding Lipase Test Results

What does a high lipase level mean in the Lipase test?

High levels of lipase may indicate a problem with the pancreas, such as acute or chronic pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer. Lipase levels can also increase with some other conditions, such as kidney disease, peptic ulcers, or bowel obstruction.

What does a low lipase level mean in the Lipase test?

Low levels of lipase are usually not a concern and could be a result of normal variations. However, extremely low levels may indicate permanent damage to the pancreas or a deficiency of lipase production.

What is the normal range for lipase in the Lipase test?

The normal range for lipase can vary between laboratories, but it is generally between 10 to 140 units per liter (U/L).

Lipase Test and Specific Conditions

How is the Lipase test used in the diagnosis of pancreatitis?

In the event of pancreatitis, lipase levels in the blood often increase significantly. A Lipase test can help diagnose pancreatitis if a patient has symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, or nausea.

How is the Lipase test used in the monitoring of chronic pancreatitis?

In chronic pancreatitis, lipase levels can fluctuate and may not always be elevated, despite active disease. However, the Lipase test can be used to monitor the progression of the disease and response to treatment over time.

How is the Lipase test used in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer?

In some cases of pancreatic cancer, lipase levels may be elevated. However, the Lipase test is not typically used as a primary tool to diagnose pancreatic cancer, as many other conditions can also raise lipase levels.

Can the Lipase test be used to assess the severity of pancreatitis?

The severity of pancreatitis can't be determined by lipase levels alone. While high levels of lipase indicate a problem with the pancreas, they do not directly correlate with the severity of the condition. Other factors, such as physical findings, symptoms, and results from imaging studies, help assess the severity.

General Queries about the Test

Can the Lipase test predict the likelihood of developing pancreatitis?

The Lipase test itself does not predict the likelihood of developing pancreatitis. It's typically used when symptoms suggest a problem with the pancreas.

Can the Lipase test be used to monitor treatment for pancreatitis?

Yes, the Lipase test can be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for pancreatitis. Changes in lipase levels can provide insight into how well the body is responding to treatment.

What factors might affect the accuracy of the Lipase test?

Certain factors might affect the accuracy of the Lipase test, such as certain medications (including codeine, indomethacin, and others), severe illness or stress, and the timing of the test after the onset of symptoms.

Why might a doctor order a Lipase test?

A doctor might order a Lipase test if a person has symptoms suggesting a pancreatic disorder, such as severe abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, or nausea. The test might also be ordered to monitor a known pancreatic disease.

How often should the Lipase test be done?

The frequency of the Lipase test depends on the specific clinical situation, such as diagnosis or monitoring of a pancreatic condition. Your doctor will provide guidance based on your individual health status.

How effective is the Lipase test in diagnosing pancreatic disorders?

The Lipase test is an effective tool for diagnosing acute pancreatitis, as lipase levels often rise significantly during an attack. However, it may not be as reliable in diagnosing chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.

Can the Lipase test replace other tests for diagnosing pancreatic disorders?

No, the Lipase test is typically used in conjunction with other tests and imaging studies to diagnose pancreatic disorders. It provides valuable information but is not sufficient alone to make a diagnosis.

Can the Lipase test differentiate between different types of pancreatitis?

No, the Lipase test cannot differentiate between different types of pancreatitis. It simply indicates that a problem with the pancreas is likely present.

Can the Lipase test be used in people with diabetes?

Yes, the Lipase test can be used in people with diabetes, especially if they have symptoms suggesting pancreatitis. People with diabetes do not necessarily have elevated lipase levels unless they also have a pancreatic condition.

Can the Lipase test be used in the evaluation of abdominal pain?

Yes, the Lipase test is often used when abdominal pain is present to help determine if the pain is due to a pancreatic condition, like pancreatitis.

How does alcohol consumption affect the Lipase test results?

Chronic, heavy alcohol consumption can lead to pancreatitis, and hence increase lipase levels. Acute alcohol ingestion can also transiently increase lipase levels but doesn't always indicate pancreatitis.

Can diseases other than pancreatitis cause increased lipase levels?

Yes, certain other conditions can increase lipase levels, including kidney disease, bowel obstruction, peptic ulcers, and gallbladder disease.

How does the Lipase test relate to other pancreatic enzyme tests like the amylase test?

Both lipase and amylase are enzymes produced by the pancreas that help with digestion. Levels of both enzymes may increase in blood with pancreatitis. Lipase is considered more specific for pancreatitis and remains elevated for a longer time than amylase.

Is the Lipase test used in the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis?

While the Lipase test is not used to diagnose cystic fibrosis, it may be used to monitor pancreatic function in individuals with cystic fibrosis, as they may have impaired lipase production.

Can the Lipase test help in the differential diagnosis of acute abdomen?

Yes, the Lipase test can assist in the differential diagnosis of acute abdomen, especially in ruling in or out pancreatitis as a cause. However, it is used in conjunction with other clinical and diagnostic information.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: LPS

Lipase

*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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