Faecal pancreatic specific elastase
Pancreatic-specific elastase belongs to a family of protein-degrading enzymes produced by a type of white blood cell called neutrophil granulocytes. Their most important function is the normal response to inflammation in the body. They break down proteins in the body so that the body can empty them and then take part in recycling them.
Faecal pancreatic elastase is a marker of decreased pancreatic function resulting from any pancreatic dysfunction (whether inflammation, tumour, diabetes, or removal of the pancreas). Pancreatic enzyme replacement does not affect the value.
What does the test show?
The faecal pancreatic specific elastase test measures the amount of elastase 1 enzyme produced by the pancreas in a stool sample. It can be used to diagnose pancreatic diseases associated with insufficient digestive enzyme production. Pancreatic elastase 1 passes through the digestive tract intact, allowing enzyme levels to be determined painlessly in the stool.
The content of faecal pancreatic elastase is 1 level can already detect mild pancreatic insufficiency.
In which cases is it recommended to perform the test?
The test is usually ordered if pancreatic dysfunction or inflammation is suspected. Symptoms may include:
- belt-like pain around the navel
- abdominal pain
- abdominal tightness, bloating
- nausea, vomiting
What sample is needed for the test?
It is important to note that diarrheal stools are not suitable for testing and sampling should not happen during menstruation! The sample must be taken using a special sampling device, which can be requested at the reception of our Clinics.
What can the result indicate?
Depending on the value, it can be shown what level of pancreatic dysfunction we are facing. A lower value signals that there might be pancreatic damage or inflammation.
What to do after the test?
The test alone cannot diagnose any disease, and in all cases consult an internist or haematologist to determine the exact diagnosis and required therapy.