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Increased Lipase Plasma Levels in ICU Patients: When Are They Critical?

Nicolás Serrano, MD, PhD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
 ,  Dr. Serrano is Senior Staff ICU Specialist at Hospital Universitario de Canarias, and Assistant Professor of Critical Care Medicine, Universidad de La Laguna.

Correspondence to: Nicolás Serrano, MD, PhD, FCCP, Critical Care Department, PO Box 273, Hospital Universitario de Canarias, 38320-La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain; e-mail: nserrano@epicure.org



Chest. 2005;127(1):7-10. doi:10.1378/chest.127.1.7
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Extract

Serum amylase and lipase levels are markers of pancreatic inflammation and are standard tests to diagnose acute pancreatitis. Lipase level is a more specific and sensitive index of pancreatic disease than amylase level, but an elevation of lipase levels three or less times the normal range may be nonspecific and rarely may predict significant pancreatic pathology.1 Lipase activity may be measured using several methods, but considerable interassay discrepancies may be found.2

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