Amylase and Lipase – Interpretation

Amylase is secreted throughout the entire GI tract.  Lipase is secreted only in the pancreas, and to some extent in the duodenal C loop.  Hence:

  • High amylase + high lipase and LUQ pain = pancreatitis.
  • Normal amylase + high lipase and R-sided abdominal pain = duodenitis
  • High amylase + normal lipase and diffuse/non-specific GI symptoms = gastroenteritis
  • Normal amylase + normal lipase and no pain = patient can go home!

From Dr Theodor Pesch, emergency physician

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