A lipase test measures the amount of the enzyme lipase in the blood.
Why the Test is Performed
This test may be performed to evaluate pancreas function.
Lipase is an enzyme secreted by the pancreas into the small intestines. It starts the breakdown of triglycerides into fatty acids. As with amylase, lipase appears in the blood following damage to the pancreas.
How the Test is Performed
Blood is drawn from a vein on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and restrict blood flow through the vein. This causes veins below the band to fill with blood.
A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. During the procedure, the band is removed to restore blood flow. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
For an infant or young child, the area is cleansed with antiseptic and punctured with a sharp needle or a lancet. The blood may be collected in a pipette (small glass tube), on a slide, onto a test strip, or into a small container. Cotton or a bandage may be applied to the puncture site if there is any continued bleeding.
How to Prepare for the Test
Fast for 8 hours before the test. The health care provider may advise you to stop taking drugs that may affect the test (see Special Considerations).
For infants and children:
The preparation you can provide for this test depends on your child's age and experience. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following:
How the Test Will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling light-headed
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
- Multiple punctures to locate veins
Drugs that may alter test results include bethanechol, cholinergic medications, codeine, indomethacin, meperidine, methacholine, and morphine.
0 to 160 U/L. Normal values may vary, depending on the laboratory.
Note: U/L = units per liter
What Abnormal Results Mean
Greater-than-normal levels may indicate:
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
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