Pancreatic Elastase

Why Use the Pancreatic Elastase Test?

Pancreatic elastase is a protein-digesting enzyme exclusively produced by the human pancreas, and serves as a non-invasive stool biomarker of pancreatic exocrine function. Pancreatic elastase measured in stool has a strong correlation with the invasive gold-standard test for pancreatic insufficiency and, therefore, is a patient-friendly approach for evaluating pancreatic digestive function.

Pancreatic elastase is an excellent non-invasive initial test to determine those who may need additional testing for pancreatic digestive dysfunction.

Effective for Patients Experiencing:

  • Unexplained diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Other symptoms of maldigestion, such as undigested food in stool
  • Abdominal pain
    • Including symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Low bone density

In addition, pancreatic function may be negatively affected in:

  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Diabetes
  • Celiac disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Gallstones

About the Pancreatic Elastase Test:

Pancreatic elastase results are not affected by pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy; therefore patients are not required to stop supplementation prior to stool collection. Pancreatic elastase is not broken down during intestinal transit and is not affected greatly by increases or decreases in intestinal transit times. Pancreatic elastase is produced exclusively in the pancreas and as such has almost absolute pancreatic specificity; there is little or no interference by other enzymes in the GI tract.

Test Type: Stool Test

Analyte List
Pancreatic Elastase
CPT Codes  
Pancreatic Elastase 82656
Specimen Requirements