The blood test for lipase is most often used, along with an amylase test, to help diagnose and monitor acute pancreatitis. It may also be used to diagnose and monitor chronic pancreatitis and other disorders that involve the pancreas but is not as useful of a test for these conditions because lipase levels remain elevated for longer periods and may not reveal clinical progress.
Lipase testing is also occasionally used in the diagnosis and follow-up of cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn disease.
A high lipase level in the blood may indicate the presence of a condition affecting the pancreas.
In acute pancreatitis, lipase levels are frequently very high, often 5 to 10 times higher than the highest reference value (often called the upper limit of normal). Lipase concentrations typically rise within 4 to 8 hours of an acute pancreatic attack and remain elevated for up to 7 to 14 days. Lipase levels cannot be used to determine the severity of an acute pancreatic attack.
Concentrations may also be increased with pancreatic duct obstruction, pancreatic cancer, and other pancreatic diseases as well as with gallbladder inflammation or kidney disease.
A low level of lipase in the blood may indicate permanent damage to the lipase-producing cells in the pancreas. This can occur in chronic diseases that affect the pancreas such as cystic fibrosis.
- Sample of blood serum
- We perform the test daily