Elevated lipase in an infant with altered mental status

Iván González, Stephen Roper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pancreatic enzymes lipase and amylase serve important functions in digestion/absorption of fats and polysaccharides. Measurement of these enzymes is often used in the emergency department to rule out acute pancreatitis in patients with nonspecific abdominal pain. In acute pancreatitis, serial measurements of plasma lipase and amylase typically follow a predictable temporal pattern of rise-and-fall kinetics: Lipase levels rise within 4 to 8 hours, crest at 2× to 50× the upper reference limit at 24 hours, and decline to normal concentrations in 7 to 14 days. In situations in which the duration and magnitude of pancreatic enzyme elevation are more transient, clinicians should consider alternative causes for enzyme elevation. In this case report, incidental discovery of elevated lipase in an African American baby girl who ingested oxycodone resulted in additional laboratory and radiological work-up. Stronger awareness of exogenous influences on gastrointestinal motility may have prevented the need for further testing in this patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E38-E41
JournalLab Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Amylase
  • Lipase
  • Opioids
  • Sphincter of Oddi
  • Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction


Dive into the research topics of 'Elevated lipase in an infant with altered mental status'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this