Preferred Sample Type


Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
2 mL blood (250 uL serum min. volume)

Specimen Transport

First class post.

Sample Processing in Laboratory


Sample Preparation

Centrifuge sample and separate serum/plasma.

Turnaround Time

Approx. 1 week

Sample Stability

4 ºC for up to 48hrs and -20 ºC if >48hrs


General Information

Lipases are secreted from the pancreas into the duodenum where they catalyse the cleavage of dietary triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerol.

Elevation of lipase in the serum can be highly specific for pancreatic disease, although amylase is more routinely used as lipase is more technically difficult to measure.

Highest levels of lipase occur in acute pancreatitis. Administration of morphine or cholinergic drugs that cause constriction of the sphincter of Oddi results in elevations of lipase and amylase.

Carcinoma of the pancreas may cause moderate lipase increase.

Patient Preparation



Specimens received before 23/06/2012 analysed at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, reference range 6-51 U/L.

Specimes for the JAKARTA trial MUST be sent to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for continuity of the trial - all of these should be dealt with by the Laboratory Medicine R&D Coordinator, and booked in as a MISC specimen.

Reference Range

 0-67 U/L from November 2012. 


  • EQA Scheme?: Yes
  • EQA Status: No scheme available

The laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital form part of the services provided by University Hospitals Birmingham and are UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited to the ISO 15189:2012 standard. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the UKAS website using the following link:

  • Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospital pathology laboratories are a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8217
  • United Kingdom Health Security Agency laboratory is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8213

Tests not appearing on the UKAS Schedule of Accreditation currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further test information, please visit the test database:

Protection of personal information - Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and its employees to comply with the Data Protection act  1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235