Elastase is unaffected by intestinal passage, so faecal concentrations (which are 5-fold greater than in pancreatic juice) more accurately reflect the amount of enzyme secreted from the pancreas and consequently serve as a means of assessing pancreatic function.
Investigation of malabsorption due to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
Faecal sample in universal container
Up to 6 weeks
Not currently performed in house; this is a referred test.
Can get transient low values during enteric viral infection, suggest repeat in 2 weeks.