Fecal elastase

Stool Elastase

The test measures the amount of elastase in the stool. 

Elastase is an enzyme made the pancreas

Elastase helps break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

In a healthy pancreas, elastase will be passed in the stool. 

If little or no elastase is found the stool, it can mean this enzyme isn’t working as it should: pancreatic insufficiency. 

Pancreatic insufficiency can cause malabsorption and malnutrition.

In adults, pancreatic insufficiency is often a sign of chronic pancreatitis. 

In children, pancreatic insufficiency can be a sign of:

Cystic fibrosis

Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, a rare, inherited disease that causes problems with the skeletal system, bone marrow, and pancreas.

A stool elastase test is used to find out if there is pancreatic insufficiency, especially  severe pancreatic insufficiency.

Levels below 200 µg per gram or considered to be abnormal, but only very low values of 50 µg per gram or less are a reasonably predictive of steatorrhea. 

Abnormal levels above 50 µg per gram occur with diabetes, old age, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, renal failure, functional dyspepsia, watery diarrhea and have poor specificity for steatorrhea.

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