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Also known as

LPS, Lipase, Blood Test

This test is ordered when the doctor wants to diagnose or evaluate the state of acute pancreatitis. The test is also ordered to monitor chronic pancreatitis or a range of other diseases afflicting the pancreas and other parts of the body like the abdominal wall.

When do you need to get tested?

The doctor orders the test when the patient is showing signs and symptoms of a pancreatic disorder, for example, nausea, a loss of appetite, fever, or serious abdominal pain.
This is a blood test. The blood sample is drawn from a vein in the arm using a syringe.

Do you need to prepare for the Lipase Blood Test?

The doctor may instruct you to fast (stop eating and drinking everything apart from water) nearly 8 to 12 hours before the test. In addition, you must inform the doctor of any kind of medication you take, ranging from pharmaceuticals, supplements, vitamins to herbs. Medication may interfere with the test results. All instructions set by the doctor and the lab must be followed diligently to ensure that the test results are accurate.

What is being tested in the Lipase Test (LBS)?

The lipase blood test measures how much lipase, a protein that helps the body in digestion is present in the body. Lipase is made by the pancreas. The enzyme plays a key role in the digestion of dietary fats. Located deep in the abdominal cavity below the liver and between the spine and the stomach, a pancreas is an organ that is flat and narrow in shape and nearly 6 inches in length. The internal structure of the pancreas consists of small ducts or tubes whose job is to release digestive enzymes into the pancreatic duct. Amongst these digestive enzymes is lipase. The protein makes its way across the pancreatic duct into the first part of the small intestine. Here, lipase aids in the break-down of dietary triglycerides, which is a form of fat, into fatty acids. Normally, small quantities of lipase are present at any given time in the blood. However, when the cells in the pancreas are injured, they cause higher amounts of lipase to enter the blood. Higher levels of the pancreas are common in diseases like pancreatitis when gallstones block pancreatic ducts or, in some rare instances, caused by a pancreatic tumor.

How is the test used, Lipase Blood test?

The test aids doctors in the detection and assessment of acute pancreatitis. It is also used to monitor chronic pancreatitis. The lipase blood test is normally used in conjunction with a blood amylase test. However, it must be noted that the amylase test is simply sensitive for pancreatic diseases and does not aid in their diagnosis. Therefore, higher levels of amylase found in the blood are an indicator of a possible disease, but the reason why the levels are high is not always linked back to the pancreas. In contrast, the lipase blood test is used to detect and diagnose diseases that are related to the pancreas, especially acute pancreatitis, and acute alcoholic pancreatitis. Higher concentrations of the protein in the blood are a solid indicator of some kind of issue with the pancreas. Evaluating the two results together aids in the diagnosis or the elimination of the possibility of pancreatitis and other conditions. The test may also be used in the diagnosis and monitoring of the following conditions:
  1. Peritonitis – a condition which involves the inflammation of the lining of the inner abdominal wall
  2. Strangulated or infarcted bowel – a condition where the bowel receives restricted blood supply
  3. Pancreatic cyst
  4. Cystic fibrosis – this is an inherited disease where thick mucus can cause damage to organs.
  5. Crohn’s disease – a condition where the digestive tract is inflamed
  6. Celiac disease – this is a condition that is triggered by the protein gluten; it is where your immune system attacks your small intestine

When is the Lipase Blood Test ordered?

If the patient shows symptoms typical of acute pancreatitis or some other pancreatic disorder, the doctor orders the test to investigate the possibility of the disease. Signs and symptoms of such a condition include:
  1. Severe upper abdominal or back pain that radiates to the back or feels worse after eating
  2. Fever
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Nausea, vomiting
  5. Yellowing of the eyes or skin – a disease known as jaundice
  6. Rapid pulse
  7. Loose, fatty, foul-smelling stools are also known as a condition called steatorrhea.
The test is also ordered by the doctor at regular intervals to assess and monitor a patient who has a pancreatic condition. Test results are especially fruitful in determining whether the treatment is working adequately. It may also be ordered to evaluate whether lipase levels in the blood are increasing with time or decreasing.

What does the Lipase Blood Test result mean?

High concentrations of lipase present in the blood are an indicator of the disease afflicting the pancreas. In acute pancreatitis, the concentrations of lipase are high in a recurrent pattern, often being 5 to 10 times higher than the established reference value. Lipase concentrations normally rise within 3 to 6 hours of an acute pancreatic attack, peaking at 24 hours and remaining high for nearly 8 to 14 days subsequently. However, the doctor cannot use the level of lipase in the blood to ascertain how serious the attack is. Furthermore, the concentration of lipase levels is also high in conditions like pancreatic duct obstruction, pancreatic cancer, and other diseases linked to the pancreas, as well as conditions like kidney disease or inflammation in the gallbladder. Lower levels of lipase in the bloodstream are indicators of permanent damage to the cells that produce lipase. This can happen in chronic conditions like cystic fibrosis. High levels of lipase are symptoms of
  1. Blockage of the bowel (bowel obstruction)
  2. Celiac disease
  3. Pancreatic cancer
  4. Infection or swelling of the pancreas
  5. Cystic fibrosis
  6. Inflammatory bowel disease
  7. Renal (kidney) failure
  8. Alcoholism
  9. Use of certain medicines, including some pain medications and birth control pills
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