What is ppbs blood test

The lipase blood count - what are lipases?

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Lipases are enzymes that break down fat-like substances. The proteins formed by various organs are important, among other things, for fat digestion and for the activation of fat reserves. The blood lipase level is mainly due to the digestive enzyme of the pancreas. Therefore, this blood value is primarily used in laboratory diagnostics Diseases of the pancreas down

What is the level of lipase in the blood?

The blood lipase value reflects the amount of pancreatic lipase in the blood, a digestive enzyme that the pancreas releases into the small intestine for fat digestion and that reaches the bloodstream in changed amounts when the organ is diseased.

Key facts at a glance!

  1. Lipases are fat-splitting enzymes. The enzyme, which is determined as a blood value in the laboratory, comes almost exclusively from the pancreas and is known as pancreatic lipase.
  2. The reference range for the lipase blood level is between 20 and 160 U / ml.
  3. For all diagnostic questions, the determination of further blood values ​​is appropriate.
  4. Increases in lipase levels are usually the result of inflammation of the pancreas or other organs of the digestive tract.
  5. Low blood lipase levels rarely play a role in clinical practice and are usually the result of pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis.

What are lipases

Lipases are enzymes that belong to the esterases. That means they split certain esters, compounds that off Alcohols and one organic acid are formed.

This also includes many fatty substances, especially those Triglyceridesthat result from the esterification of various carboxylic acids with the trihydric alcohol glycerine.

You make that largest share of dietary fats and are important energy storage in the form of fat reserves. They get there via the bloodstream after they have been bound to special lipoproteins and made soluble in the blood plasma. Therefore can Triglycerides as a blood value measure up.

Lipases split such dietary fats and storage fats into glycerine and carboxylic acids, making them accessible for breakdown in the energy metabolism.

Accordingly, lipases are found in numerous organs not only in the digestive tract.

What is pancreatic lipase?

Most of the lipase, which is determined as a blood value in a blood sample, comes from the pancreas. The pancreas, which usually weighs less than a hundred grams, produces up to two liters of digestive juice a day, in which lipase can be found alongside carbohydrates and proteins that break down enzymes.

The pancreas releases this secretion into the small intestine, where it is responsible for digesting the food pulp. The pancreatic lipase takes on the task of splitting the dietary fats. Small amounts of it also get into the bloodstream and can be determined there as a lipase blood value. The lipase blood count is not part of the normal small or large blood countbut is requested by the doctor specifically from the laboratory if there is a suspicion of diseases, especially of the pancreas.

Standard values ​​and reference range

Small amounts of lipase are always found in the blood, but values ​​that are too high should not be found in the blood serum of a healthy person. The normal value of the lipase is usually given as below 160 U / l.

Reference range lipase blood level: 20 - 160 U / l (20 - 160 mU / ml).

When is the blood count too high?

A blood lipase level that is too high is measured primarily in diseases of the pancreas, especially in acute or chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

Important: In pancreatitis, the level of the lipase blood level is independent of the severity of the inflammation.

If there is pain in the upper abdomen that can be traced back to pancreatitis, the lipase increases within a few hours and remains elevated for several days.

Sometimes the blood lipase test is carried out if cancer of the pancreas is suspected. In many cases this is nonsensical, since most pancreatic carcinomas do not start from the lipase-producing cells, but from those in the ducts.

In any case, it makes sense to determine not only the blood lipase level but also the blood amylase level if a disease of the pancreas is suspected, another digestive enzyme that is responsible for digesting carbohydrates. Furthermore they give Inflammation values (Leukocytes, CRP, ESR) important information.

Increased blood lipase levels are less common in other inflammations of the digestive tract, for example Stomach ulcer, Gallstones or hepatitis. Sporadically increased lipase blood values ​​can also be found in some intestinal diseases, above all the Celiac disease (Gluten intolerance) and the inflammatory bowel disease Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis.

When is the blood level too low?

In the clinic, blood lipase levels that are too low rarely play a role. They occur when the pancreas stops producing enough digestive enzymes due to a disease. In such a case one speaks of one Pancreatic insufficiency. This is usually the result of a chronic or acute inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

Such pancreatitis is often the result of one Cystic fibrosis, a metabolic disease in which the mucous glands produce an excess of thick mucus. This clogs the ducts of glands and damages them in the long term, including the pancreas.

Sources, links and further reading

  1. Gerd Herold: Internal Medicine. Cologne 2019: G. Herold Verlag. ISBN-10: 3981466063
  2. Wolfgang Piper: Internal medicine. 2nd Edition. Stuttgart 2012: Springer-Verlag. ISBN-10: 3642331076.

Doctor of medical science and natural scientist with a medical doctorate. This article conforms to current scientific standards and medical guidelines. (Authors M.Foerster / H.Stephan)