Pancreatic Elastase

Pancreatic Elastase (PE) is a simple, noninvasive fecal marker for assessing exocrine pancreatic function, allowing the clinician to establish a prompt and reliable diagnosis with high degrees of sensitivity (90%-100%) and specificity (93%-98%) in suspected cases of pancreatic insufficiency. Sensitivity is lower in milder cases of pancreatic insufficiency, but is quite high (95%-100%) in moderate to severe cases.

Pancreatic insufficiency may play a role in:

  • Post-prandial bloating, pain or nausea
  • Loose or watery stools
  • Undigested food in the stool
  • Hypochlorhydria
  • Food intolerances
  • Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms

Clinical Advantages of Pancreatic Elastase:

PE is a digestive enzyme secreted exclusively by the human pancreas. Its unique qualities provide the following clinical advantages:

  • PE has a strong correlation with the gold standard test for pancreatic insufficiency.
  • PE results are not affected by pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy; therefore patients are not required to stop supplementation prior to stool collection
  • PE is not degraded during intestinal transit, nor is it affected greatly by increases or decreases in intestinal transit times.
  • PE levels are 5-fold to 6-fold higher in feces than in duodenal juice, reflecting the extraordinary stability of PE in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • PE 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
Specimen Requirements