Assays of serum lipase: Analytical and clinical considerations

J. A. Lott, S. T. Patel, A. K. Sawhney, S. C. Kazmierczak, J. E. Love

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


We evaluated three commercially available methods for determining lipase (EC in serum - the Du Pont aca, Boehringer Mannheim Diagnostics (BMD), and Kodak Ektachem (EK) procedures - for their analytical properties and diagnostic efficiencies. Titrimetry was used as the comparative method. The BMD and EK methods showed better agreement with the titrametric method, owing to the presence of the necessary cofactor, colipase, in their reagents. Colipase also increased the analytical sensitivity of the BMD and EK procedures as compared with the aca method. Determinations of serum lipase, by all methods, had a clinical sensitivity in excess of 80% for acute pancreatitis; the specificity of the lipase test was about 60%, or twice that of serum amylase. Serum lipase determinations with the current, simpler technology are superior to total amylase in the diagnosis of patients with acute pancreatitis. When a colipase-supplement method is used, a serum lipase value > 10-fold the upper reference limit appears to be pathognomonic for acute pancreatitis or inflammation of organs close to the pancreas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1290-1302
Number of pages13
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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