Pezzilli et al used serum lipase to identify patients with acute pancreatitis, and serum interleukin-6 levels to separate severe from mild disease.


Serum lipase:

(1) A DuPont turbidometric assay was used, with a reference interval of 24 to 270 U/L.

(2) The use of a serum lipase above the upper reference limit had a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 93% for separating pancreatitis from nonpancreatic acute abdomen.

(3) Increasing the cutoff to 1.5 to 2.0 times the upper limit of the reference range gave a sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 100%


Serum interleukin-6:

(1) Normal persons had no detectable interleukin-6.

(2) A cutoff of 3.7 µg/L has a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 83% in separating severe from mild acute pancreatitis.


Serum Lipase




above cutoff

severe acute pancreatitis


below cutoff

mild acute pancreatitis

not increased

above cutoff

nonpancreatitic acute abdomen

not increased

below cutoff

nonpancreatic and mild



• Assay for interleukin-6 is usually not readily available.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.