Like lipase and elastase the Pancreatic Amylase is synthesised in the pancreas. It is a digestive enzyme that is secreted into the small intestine to break down dietary starch. In the case of chronic pancreatitis, Pancreatic Amylase is decreased. Some forms of disease (alcoholism, accidental trauma) are associated with a pancreatic insufficiency. In the routine laboratory Pancreatic Amylase has proved itself to be a genuine alternative to Elastase-I via stool diagnostics.
Pancreatic amylase is measured in stool to support the diagnosis and monitoring of acute pancreatitis and flares associated with chronic pancreatitis. The concentration of pancreatic amylase in stool reflects the secretory capacity of the pancreas and so can be a useful tool in determining or excluding pancreatic diseases.