Elevated Serum Amylase and/or Serum Lipase

Differential Diagnosis

Acute pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis

Pancreatic carcinoma

Dangerous Situations

Pancreatic carcinoma is associated with a very short life span following diagnosis.

Commonly Encountered Situations

Acute pancreatitis is the most common of the disorders listed.

Suggested Additional Lab Testing

Acute pancreatitis

  • Tests to assess alcohol intake and triglyceride levels are useful.

  • Most common causes include alcohol abuse and gallstones.

  • Less common causes include hypertriglyceridemia, infections, and trauma to pancreas.

Chronic pancreatitis

Bentiromide test is a noninvasive test to assess pancreatic function in chronic pancreatitis, based on the hydrolysis by chymotrypsin of an orally administered synthetic peptide.

Pancreatic carcinoma

CA 19-9 may be useful to monitor response to therapy in patients with pancreatic cancer, but it is not specific to pancreatic cancer.

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