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Lipase Test

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KEY POINTS

  • The lipase test measures the amount of an enzyme called lipase in the blood. This test is done to check for problems with your child’s pancreas.
  • A small amount of blood is taken from a vein in your child’s arm with a needle. In younger children, this test can be done with a finger prick or heel stick. The blood is collected in tubes and sent to a lab.
  • Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about what the test results mean and ask any questions you have.

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What is a lipase blood test?

The lipase test is a blood test. It measures the amount of an enzyme called lipase in the blood. Enzymes are chemicals that help the cells of your child’s body work.

Lipase is made by the pancreas, which is an organ in your child’s upper belly behind the stomach. Lipase helps digest fats in the food your child eats.

Why is it done?

This test is done to check for problems with your child’s pancreas. For example, it may be done to:

  • Check for pancreatitis, which is swelling and irritation of the pancreas.
  • Monitor the condition of the pancreas in children with cystic fibrosis.
  • Help diagnose problems that affect the intestines.

How do I prepare my child for this test?

Make sure your child’s healthcare provider knows about any medicines, herbs, or supplements that your child is taking. Your child may need to avoid taking certain medicines before the test because they might affect the test result. Ask your child’s provider before you stop any of your child’s regular medicines.

Talk to your child’s healthcare provider if you have any questions about the test.

How is the test done?

Having this test will take just a few minutes. A small amount of blood is taken from a vein in your child’s arm with a needle. In younger children, this test can be done with a finger prick or heel stick. The blood is collected in tubes and sent to a lab.

Ask your child’s healthcare provider when and how you will get the result of your child’s test.

What does the test result mean?

A high level of lipase may be caused by:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallstones
  • An ulcer that has made a hole in the stomach and is irritating the pancreas
  • Celiac disease, which affects your child’s intestine and makes it hard to absorb nutrients from food
  • Crohn’s disease, which causes areas of swelling and irritation (inflammation) and sores (ulcers) in your child’s intestine
  • A medicine your child has taken

A low level of lipase may be caused by:

  • Cystic fibrosis, which causes the body to make thick, sticky mucus that affects the lungs and pancreas

What if my child’s test result is not normal?

Test results are only one part of a larger picture that takes into account your child’s medical history and current health. Sometimes a test needs to be repeated to check the first result. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about your child’s result and ask questions such as:

  • If your child needs more tests
  • What kind of treatment your child might need
  • What lifestyle, diet, or other changes your child might need to make
Developed by Change Healthcare.
Pediatric Advisor 2019.4 published by Change Healthcare.
Last modified: 2019-10-21
Last reviewed: 2019-10-21
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2018 Change Healthcare LLC and/or one of its subsidiaries
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