Pancreatic elastase 1 or faecal elastase 1 (FE-1) is a human pancreas specific enzyme. FE-1 is enriched 5-6 fold in the faeces compared with pancreatic juices and can be used as an indicator of pancreatic exocrine function.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency occurs when the amount of enzymes released and transported to the small intestine is inadequate for proper food digestion and absorption of nutrients. Clinical symptoms of pancreatic insufficiency include: steatorrhea, weight loss, abdominal discomfort due to mal-digestion, and malnutrition. Any condition that blocks the pancreatic ducts or damages or destroy the cells that produce elastase can cause pancreatic insufficiency. Pancreatic insufficiency can often be found in patients with chronic pancreatitis, some cases of pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, and celiac disease as well as others diseases that affect the pancreas.
Normal exocrine pancreatic sufficiency: > 200ug/g
Moderate to mild exocrine pancreatic insufficiency: 100 – 200ug/g
Severe exocrine pancreatic insufficiency: <100ug/g
A single spot stool sample in a plain, universal container.
The appearance of the sample must be noted on the form prior to freezing, e.g loose, watery etc.Turnaround time
Biochemistry department, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough