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Trypsinogen test

Serum trypsin; Trypsin-like immunoreactivity; Serum trypsinogen; Immunoreactive trypsin

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Considerations

Other tests used to detect pancreas diseases may include:

  • Serum amylase
  • Serum lipase

Definition

Trypsinogen is a substance that is normally produced in the pancreas and released into the small intestine. Trypsinogen is converted to trypsin. Then it starts the process needed to break down proteins into their building blocks (called amino acids).

A test can be done to measure the amount of trypsinogen in your blood.

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is taken from a vein. The blood sample is sent to a lab for testing.

How the Test will Feel

You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted to draw blood. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

How to Prepare for the Test

There are no special preparations.

Normal Results

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

Risks

Veins and arteries vary in size, so it may be harder to get a blood sample from one person than another. Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

What Abnormal Results Mean

Increased levels of trypsinogen may be due to:

  • Abnormal production of pancreatic enzymes
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pancreatic cancer

Low or normal levels may be seen in chronic pancreatitis.

Why the Test is Performed

This test is done to detect diseases of the pancreas.

The test is also used to screen newborn babies for cystic fibrosis.

Review Date: 1/29/2017
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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