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Gumaste Vivek V. M.D.; Sereny, George M.D.; Dave, P. M.D.; Bhardwaj, Anish M.D.; Gumaste, Sandhya M.D.
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: August 1991
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Using an elevated serum amylase level to diagnose acute pancreatitis in an alcoholic patient with abdominal pain may not be appropriate, because hyperamylesemia is common in asymptomatic alcoholics without acute pancreatitis. To determine whether serum lipase also suffers from the same drawback, we undertook a prospective study involving 202 asymptomatic alcoholics admitted to the detoxification unit of our hospital. Sixty-six of the 202 patients had serum lipase levels above the normal range (0–213 U/L). Of these 66, 55 (83%) had levels that were one to two times normal, while 11 patients had levels ranging between two and three times normal. No patient exceeded three times the normal level. This background information is important in the interpretation of serum lipase levels in alcoholic patients with abdominal pain.

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