The sample needed for the analysis is faeces that will have to be delivered in a sterile bottle purchased at the pharmacy. The patient should not take oily laxatives, barium, magnesium or bismuth salts, at least 72 hours before taking the sample.
For the sampling you can be guided by the following scheme:
- Sit upside down to deposit the sample in the toilet.
- Unscrew the sample cup.
- Suck in some sample.
- Deliver the sample as soon as possible. If it cannot be delivered immediately, keep it at 2-8ºC, 5 days maximum.
The results are delivered after 3-4 days.
The stool elastase test is used to determine if there is severe pancreatic insufficiency.
It is recommended when you have symptoms of pancreatic insufficiency such as abdominal pain, greasy and foul-smelling stools, malabsorption or spontaneous weight reduction.
Elastase is an enzyme produced by the pancreas that helps break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins after ingestion. When there is little or no elastase in the excrements, it means that there is a malfunctioning of the pancreas which could indicate that there is a pancreatic insufficiency. This pancreatic insufficiency may be a sign of chronic pancreatitis.