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