Health Encyclopedia

 

Tests & Procedures



LipaseLipasa

Lipase

Does this test have other names?

Serum lipase

What is this test?

This test measures the amount of lipase in your blood. Lipase is an enzyme that is made by your pancreas. It helps your body digest fats.

Higher levels of lipase may mean you have a problem with your pancreas – most often, acute pancreatitis, or sudden inflammation of the pancreas.

Why do I need this test?

You may need this test if your doctor suspects that you have a pancreatic disorder. Signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting'

  • Rapid pulse

  • Fever

  • Abdominal (belly) or back pain

You also may also have this test if you already have pancreatitis and are being treated. Your doctor can use this test to see how well your treatment is working.

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your doctor may also order other blood tests, including one to check your levels of amylase, another digestive enzyme whose blood levels rise if you have pancreatitis.

You may also have an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI of your pancreas. These scans look for gallstones or other abnormalities that sometimes occur with acute pancreatitis.

What do my test results mean?

Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider.

Results are given in units per liter (U/L). The normal range for adults younger than 60 is 0 to 160 U/L. 

Higher than normal levels of lipase mean that you have a problem with your pancreas. If your blood contains at least three times the normal level of lipase, then it's likely that you have acute pancreatitis.

High lipase levels also mean you may have kidney failure, cirrhosis, or a bowel problem.

How is this test done?

The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.

Does this test pose any risks?

Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.

What might affect my test results?

Dialysis and a number of medications can affect your test results.

How do I get ready for this test?

You may need to stop eating or drinking anything except water for eight to 12 hours before this test. Be sure your doctor knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.

 

 
Related Items
Wellness Library
  Why the Doctor Takes a Blood Sample
Content Type 167
  Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody (Blood)
  Albumin (Blood)
  Alpha-Fetoprotein (Blood)
  Alpha-Fetoprotein Tumor Marker (Blood)
  Ammonia
  Amphetamine Screen (Blood)
  Amylase (Blood)
  Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (Blood)
  Antidiuretic Hormone
  Antimitochondrial Antibody and Antimitochondrial M2 Antibody
  Apolipoprotein A
  Apolipoprotein B100
  Benzodiazepines (Blood)
  Bicarbonate
  Direct Bilirubin
  BNP (Blood)
  C-Peptide (Blood)
  CA 125
  CA 19-9
  CA 27-29
  Calcium (Blood)
  Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  Cardiac Biomarkers (Blood)
  Total and Free Carnitine
  Catecholamines (Blood)
  Ceruloplasmin (Blood)
  Chloride
  Cholesterol
  Cholinesterase (Blood)
  Clonazepam Drug Level (Blood)
  Creatine Kinase (Blood)
  Creatinine Clearance
  Creatinine (Blood)
  Cystatin C
  D-Dimer
  Dehydroepiandrosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  Digoxin Drug Level
  Erythropoietin (Blood)
  Estradiol (Blood)
  Ethanol (Blood)
  Ferritin (Blood)
  Fluphenazine Drug Level (Blood)
  Folate
  Follicle-Stimulating Hormone
  Free Androgen Index
  Gastrin
  Growth Hormone with Stimulation (Blood)
  Growth Hormone with Suppression (Blood)
  Growth Hormone (Blood)
  HCG (Blood)
  HDL Cholesterol
  Insulin-Like Growth Factor
  Total and Free Insulin (Blood)
  Iron (Blood)
  Iron and Total Iron-Binding Capacity
  Ketone Bodies (Blood)
  Lactose Tolerance (Blood)
  LDL Cholesterol
  Adult Lead (Blood)
  Lead (Blood)
  Leptin (Blood)
  Lipid Panel with Non-HDL Cholesterol
  Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2
  Lithium
  Lipoprotein(a) Cholesterol
  Luteinizing Hormone (Blood)
  Magnesium (Blood)
  Mercury (Blood)
  Metanephrines (Blood)
  Methylmalonic Acid (Blood)
  Myoglobin (Blood)
  Pancreatic Polypeptide
  Parathyroid Hormone
  Progesterone
  Proinsulin (Blood)
  Prolactin (Blood)
  Salicylate (Blood)
  Free Light Chains (Blood)
  Sodium (Blood)
  Free and Bound Triiodothyronine (Blood)
  Free and Bound T4
  Tartrate-Resistant Acid Phosphatase
  Tegretol (Blood)
  Free Testosterone
  Total Testosterone
  Theophylline
  Thyroid Antibody
  Thyroid Antithyroglobulin Antibody
  Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
  Total Copper (Blood)
  Transferrin
  Tricyclic Antidepressant Screen
  Triglycerides
  Troponin
  Trypsin (Blood)
  Blood Urea Nitrogen
  Uric Acid (Blood)
  VLDL Cholesterol