Diagnosis of pancreatitis. Academic Article uri icon


  • In summary, pancreatitis is common in dogs and cats, but it seems that most cases remain undiagnosed. Serum amylase and lipase activities are useful as a quick screening test for pancreatitis in the dog only. Serum amylase or lipase activity must be at least three to five times the upper limit of the reference range to suggest a diagnosis of pancreatitis. Furthermore, the diagnosis must be confirmed by other diagnostic modalities, and normal test results do not eliminate the possibility of pancreatitis. Abdominal ultrasound is highly specific for pancreatitis in dogs and cats but is not particularly sensitive, especially in cats. Serum cPLI concentration is highly specific for exocrine pancreatic function and is also highly sensitive for pancreatitis. Similarly, initial data would suggest that serum fPLI is the most sensitive and specific diagnostic test for feline pancreatitis. Until further data are available, however, serum fPLI should be used in conjunction with other diagnostic tests to arrive at a diagnosis of feline pancreatitis. Histopathologic evidence of pancreatitis is conclusive for a diagnosis of pancreatitis. In most cases, however, lesions are localized, and the lack of histopathologic evidence of pancreatitis does not eliminate a diagnosis of pancreatitis.

published proceedings

  • Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract

author list (cited authors)

  • Steiner, J. M.

citation count

  • 92

complete list of authors

  • Steiner, Jörg M

publication date

  • September 2003