A serum lipase test is most commonly ordered to diagnose acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis is a sudden and severe inflammation of the pancreas, a large gland located behind the stomach. serum lipase levels are a vital for diagnosing and monitoring pancreatic disorders.

Lipase in diagnosis of pancreatitis

Serum amylase and lipase levels are typically elevated in persons with acute pancreatitis ,Lipase levels typically rise within 4-8 hours after the onset of acute pancreatitis, peak at around 24 hours, and remain elevated for 5 to 7 days. This makes lipase a more reliable marker for diagnosing acute pancreatitis later in the course of the disease, as amylase levels may have already returned to normal by then.

In patients with chronic pancreatitis lipase levels can be elevated in the presence of a normal serum amylase level.

Lipase is excreted through the kidneys, so elevated lipase levels can be found in patients with renal failure. This is because the kidneys are unable to clear lipase from the bloodstream as effectively as normal kidneys. As a result, lipase levels can accumulate in the blood and reach elevated levels.

Intestinal infarction or obstruction can also be associated with lipase elevation. However, the lipase elevations in nonpancreatic diseases, such as renal failure and intestinal infarction, are typically less than three times the upper limit of normal . In contrast, lipase elevations in pancreatitis are often 5 to 10 times the normal upper limit.. This is why lipase is a more specific marker for diagnosing pancreatitis than for other nonpancreatic diseases.

Lipases are enzymes responsible for breaking down fats into smaller molecules, facilitating their absorption in the digestive tract. Serum lipase, in particular, is produced by the pancreas and released into the duodenum( part of small intestine). Its primary function is to aid in the digestion and absorption of dietary fats.

sample collection for lipase test – Serum in plain bulb 9without additive ) ,serum separator tube.

Reference range

0-160 units/L (SI units) (Values are method dependent.)

Causes of raised serum lipase test

Acute Pancreatitis

Obstruction of Pancreatic Duct by Stone

Malignant lesions of pancreas (cancer)

Pancreatic pseudocyst

peptic ulcer

Inflammatory bowel disease

cystic fibrosis

Chronic relapsing pancreatitis

Acute cholecystitis


Extrahepatic duct obstruction

Renal failure

Bowel obstruction or infarction

Salivary gland inflammation or tumor

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