Objective - To determine serum lipase activities and pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (PLI) concentrations in dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). Animals - 74 healthy dogs and 25 dogs with EPI. Procedures - A diagnosis of EPI was made on the basis of clinical signs, low serum trypsin like immunoreactivity (TLI) concentration, and response to treatment with enzyme replacement. Median values for fasting serum lipase activity and serum PLI concentrations were compared between the 2 groups with a Mann-Whitney U test. Results - Median fasting serum lipase activity was not significantly different between dogs with EPI (366.0 U/L) and healthy dogs (294.5 U/L), and only 1 dog with EPI had a serum lipase activity less than the lower limit of the reference range. Median serum PLI concentration was significantly lower in dogs with EPI (0.1 μg/L) than in healthy dogs (16.3 μg/L). All dogs with EPI had serum PLI concentrations less than the lower limit of the reference range. Conclusion and clinical relevance - Serum lipase activity is not limited to the exocrine pancreas in origin, whereas serum PLI is derived only from the exocrine pancreas. Unlike in serum TLI concentrations, there was a small degree of overlap in serum PLI concentrations between healthy dogs and dogs with EPI. Serum TLI concentration remains the test of choice for diagnosis of EPI.
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