Lipase

Specimen:

5 mL blood in plain tube.

Method:

Spectrophotometry.

Reference Interval:

Method dependent - consult pathologist.

Application:

Suspicion of pancreatitis as the cause of an 'acute abdomen'.

Interpretation:

As any upper abdominal cause of an 'acute abdomen' can be associated with an increased lipase careful consideration must be given to the clinical findings and to the results of diagnostic imaging.

In pancreatitis, lipase levels typically peak higher and remain elevated longer than those of amylase, so that lipase is a more sensitive indicator of pancreatic cell damage.

Lipase is not elevated in salivary gland disease.

Reference:

Yadav D et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2002; 97(6): 1309-1318.