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Pancreas. 2014 Aug;43(6):874-8. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0000000000000138.

A 5-year experience of benign pancreatic hyperenzymemia.

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From the *Departments of Medical and Surgical Sciences, and †Digestive Diseases and Internal Medicine, Centro Unificato di Ricerca Biomedica Applicata, University of Bologna, St. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.



Benign pancreatic hyperenzymemia is characterized by a long-term increase of serum pancreatic enzymes in otherwise healthy subjects. This study was designed to determine (a) whether all pancreatic enzymes are elevated, (b) the extent of each enzyme increase, (c) the relative frequency of the familial form, and (d) the relative frequencies of pancreatic and salivary hyperamylasemia and macroamylasemia.


Two hundred seven asymptomatic subjects with benign pancreatic hyperenzymemia were studied during the 5-year period. Serum amylase, isoamylase, and lipase levels were assessed by immunoenzymatic assays.


Most (n = 183; 88.4%) patients had benign pancreatic hyperenzymemia; 155 (74.9%) patients had an abnormal increase of all 3 enzymes, 15 (7.2%) patients of only lipase, and 13 (6.3%) patients of only amylase and pancreatic isoamylase. Lipase levels were the highest (1.1-21 times above upper limit). Of the 183 subjects, 72 were members of 35 different families, 15 (7.2%) had increased salivary amylase, and 9 (4.3%) had macroamylasemia. Wide day-to-day fluctuations of pancreatic enzymes, including falls within the reference ranges, were recorded.


All enzymes were increased in benign pancreatic hyperenzymemia, with lipase showing the highest elevation. Doctors should reassure patients about the benign nature of this condition and limit repeating useless examinations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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