Lipase— An Index of Pancreatic Function Test
Posted: May 25, 2021
The pancreas is an organ deep in the abdomen of the human body. Although it is small in size, its physiological function and pathological changes are closely related to life. It mainly plays an important role in neutralizing stomach acid and digesting protein, fat and sugar. When performing pancreas function tests, we often see the term lipase. So what does this mean?
What is lipase?
Lipase, also known as triacylglycerol hydrolase, is basically present in all organisms and plays a key role in the digestion and transportation of lipids (such as fats, oils, triglycerides in food, etc.). The main part of the human body to secrete lipase is the pancreatic acinus, followed by the stomach, small intestine, vascular endothelium, fat cells, etc. can also secrete a small amount of lipase into the blood, but pancreatic lipase is also the main source of fat degradation in the human digestive system.
In clinical practice, blood tests can be used to detect lipase indicators, which are generally used for preliminary diagnosis of diseases related to pancreatic function such as diabetes and acute pancreatitis. The essence of lipase is protein, which can be absorbed by the human digestive system after being eaten by the human body. Therefore, the advertising claims of weight loss through lipase are not credible.
The lipase test can check for pancreatitis or other pancreatic diseases. It can also check whether the treatment of pancreatitis is effective and help check for cystic fibrosis. Generally, you should not eat any food except water within 8-12 hours before the lipase test.
The normal range of lipase index:
Normal reference value of lipase index: below 35.0 U/L.
What does the abnormal lipase index mean?
- Lipase index is too high:
If the pancreas is damaged or the pancreatic duct is blocked, the amount of lipase in the blood will increase. When the lipase content increases, pancreatitis is generally considered. If the pain persists repeatedly, it may be the recurrence of chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cysts, pancreatic cancer, etc., and other relevant examinations are needed to make an accurate judgment.
Lipase in the blood is usually excreted through urine, so the excretion of lipase will also be affected when the kidneys are insufficiency. Even if the patient does not have pancreatitis, the content of lipase will still increase slightly.
- Lipase index is low:
When the pancreatic lipase index is abnormally low, it may be due to low pancreatic exocrine function. It cannot be ruled out that it is in the decompensated stage of pancreatitis or the middle stage of pancreatic cancer, and further special inspections such as tumor markers are required. At the same time, acute pancreatitis caused by hyperlipidemia will also reduce the lipase content in the blood, which should be distinguished.
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