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Faecal Elastase

Elastase is a protein produce by the part of the pancreas responsible for making pancreatic  digestive proteins which facilitate the breakdown of fats and proteins that we eat. Production of elastase does correspond to the function of the part of the pancreas which undertakes the digestive functions of this organ (the exocrine pancreas – as opposed to the endocrine pancreas which makes insulin). Levels of elastase within the stool broadly correspond to pancreatic exocrine function, although this test is not as sensitive as we might like as it only detects 80% of those with severe pancreatic exocrine insufficiency and 50% of those with mild to moderate insufficiency. It is however the best non-invasive test of pancreatic function available.

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