Fully Quantitative Pancreatitis
What is a pancreas blood test?
A pancreas blood test is a blood test to check the function of the pancreas. Pancreas blood tests measure the levels of certain digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. These tests can check the amount of these enzymes in the bloodstream.
What are pancreas blood tests used for?
Blood tests of the pancreas can detect problems with the pancreas. They can be used to diagnose acute pancreatitis and other conditions.
What are the different types of pancreas blood tests?
Your pancreas makes many different digestive enzymes. Two important enzymes are amylase and lipase. Two types of blood tests from the pancreas are the amylase test and the lipase test.
- Amylase: The enzyme amylase helps your body digest carbohydrates. The amylase test checks for elevated levels of the enzyme amylase.
- Lipase: The enzyme lipase helps your body digest fats. The lipase test checks for elevated levels of the enzyme lipase.
When would a blood test of the pancreas be necessary?
Your healthcare provider may order a blood test from your pancreas when you have symptoms of acute pancreatitis or another condition of your pancreas. Blood tests of the pancreas can also be used to confirm or rule out pancreatitis.
What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?
Symptoms of pancreatitis can include:
- Severe abdominal pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- loss of appetite
- Back pain.
How is the pancreas blood test done?
The pancreas blood test is a blood draw. Your healthcare provider will draw a small amount of blood from a vein in your arm.
How do I prepare for the pancreas blood test?
Since the blood is drawn from your arm, you may be more comfortable wearing a loose-fitting or short-sleeved shirt. Your healthcare provider will have easy access to your arm.
What should I expect during the pancreas blood test?
The pancreas blood test is a blood draw from a vein in the arm. Your healthcare provider will clean the skin around your vein. An elastic band will be tied around your upper arm to apply pressure. This allows blood to fill your vein.
Your healthcare provider will insert a small needle into your vein. The blood will be collected in a small tube. The process shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Your healthcare provider will remove the elastic band and bandage your arm. Your blood will be sent to a laboratory.
What to expect after the test?
Your arm may feel a little sore, and there may be a bruise where the blood was drawn. Side effects can include fainting, excessive bleeding, and infection, but these are rare.
What do abnormal pancreas blood test results mean?
If your lipase levels are elevated, you may need more tests. These levels alone cannot determine the severity of pancreatitis. Tests may include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
If your amylase levels are elevated, your healthcare provider will see that there is a problem, but it may not be with your pancreas. Lipase levels compared to amylase levels show more specific results for the pancreas. Higher levels of amylase and lipase in your bloodstream may mean you have pancreatitis or damage to your pancreas. Amylase and lipase will usually rise to three times normal levels if you have acute pancreatitis.