Trypsinogen is a substance normally produced in the pancreas. Trypsinogen moves from the pancreas to the small intestine. However, some diseases can interrupt this process.
A test can be done to measure the amount of trypsinogen in your blood.
Serum trypsin; Trypsin-like immunoreactivity; Serum trypsinogen; Immunoreactive trypsin
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.
Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm.
Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin and make it bleed. The blood collects into a small glass tube called a pipette, or onto a slide or test strip. A bandage may be placed over the area if there is any bleeding.
The blood is then analyzed in a laboratory.
How to prepare for the test
There are no special preparations.
How the test will feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the test is performed
This test is performed to detect diseases of the pancreas. It is also ordered during routine newborn screening tests to screen for cystic fibrosis.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What abnormal results mean
Increased levels of trypsinogen may be due to acute pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, abnormal pancreatic enzyme production, and cystic fibrosis. Low or normal levels may be seen in chronic pancreatitis.
What the risks are
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling light-headed
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
Other tests used to detect pancreas diseases may include:
Forsmark C. Chronic pancreatitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman L, Brandt L, eds. Sleisinger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006:chap 57.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.