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.