Serum Elastase, also called Pancreatopeptidase, is a protease present in pancreatic secretion with the unique ability to rapidly hydrolyze elastin. Elastin is a fibrillar protein found in connective tissue. Elastin forms the elastic fibers found mostly in lungs and skin. Elastase is able to hydrolyze denatured hemoglobin, casein, fibrin, albumin and denatured but not native collagen. Elastase has been implicated in the pathogenesis of pulmonary emphysema, atherosclerosis and in the vascular injury of acute pancreatic necrosis. Elastase activity is inhibited by protease inhibitors including a1-anti-Trypsin, a1-anti-Chymotrypsin, anti-Thrombin III, a2-Macroglobulin and b1-anti-Collagenase. Patients with thyroid dysfunction have decreased Elastase activity. Serum pancreatic levels quantify EL 1 for the diagnosis or exclusion of an acute pancreatitis or an inflammatory episode of chronic pancreatitis or gallstone induced pancreatitis.
Adults: Normal pancreatic exocrine function:
12 - 16 days
- Pancreatic Elastase, Serum
Collect specimen in a red top or SST tube from a fasting patient (10-12 hour fast). Centrifuge, aliquot serum into a plastic vial and freeze. Medications that affect pancreatic activity should be discontinued, if possible, for at least 48 hours prior to collection of specimen.
Test sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories; performed by InterScience Institute.