A prospective study of serum pancreatic elastase-1 in the diagnosis and assessment of acute pancreatitis

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1998 Jun;33(6):664-8. doi: 10.1080/00365529850171963.


Background: Serum amylase gives a poor estimate of both the true incidence and the severity of acute pancreatitis (AP).

Methods: We evaluated serum pancreatic elastase-1 (PE-1) prospectively in 567 patients in whom AP was suspected. In established AP, severity was assessed using the Glasgow Criteria, and C-reactive protein, amylase, and serum PE-1 were evaluated over 5 days.

Results: The sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic efficiency of serum PE-1 were 0.66, 0.85, and 0.84, respectively. The diagnostic accuracy of serum PE-1 was 0.80, and that of amylase 0.97. Serum PE-1 did not correlate with disease severity or the development of complications, but it fell more slowly than the serum amylase in the week after admission.

Conclusions: The serum PE-1 level correlated closely with the serum amylase but conferred no benefit as a diagnostic test, nor did it provide further prognostic information.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Amylases / blood
  • Clinical Enzyme Tests*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Elastase / blood*
  • Pancreatitis / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Amylases
  • Pancreatic Elastase