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Serum lipase as a biomarker for early prediction and diagnosis of post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis



Lipase is one of the diagnostic criteria for acute pancreatitis; however, the value of serum lipase in the early prediction and diagnosis for post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) pancreatitis remains controversial.


We evaluate the 3-h post-ERCP serum amylase and lipase activities for early prediction of postoperative pancreatitis (PEP) and compare the 24-h post-ERCP serum amylase and lipase activities in the diagnosis of PEP.


Clinical information of patients who underwent ERCP from January 2017 to December 2018 at our hospital were retrospectively reviewed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were performed for 3-h and 24-h post-ERCP serum amylase and lipase activities to evaluate predictive and diagnostic values, respectively.


A total of 498 cases with ERCP were finally enrolled, in which 36 cases of PEP were confirmed. ROC curves for 3-h post-ERCP amylase and lipase activities depicted areas under the curve (AUCs) of 0.88 (P < 0.001, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.82–0.93) and 0.90 (P < 0.001, 95% CI 0.86–0.93), respectively. The difference showed no significance using Z test (Z = 0.69, P > 0.05). AUCs for 24-h amylase and lipase activities were 0.83 (P < 0.001, 95% CI 0.77–0.89) and 0.94 (P < 0.001, 95% CI 0.90–0.99), respectively, and the difference was significant (Z = 3.04, P < 0.05).


For early prediction of PEP, 3-h post-ERCP serum lipase activity is at least as good as that of amylase. For diagnosis of PEP, 24-h post-ERCP serum lipase is a much better indicator than that of amylase. Together, this study suggests that serum lipase should be given priority in the early prediction and diagnosis of PEP.

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We thank the patients involved in this study and the support from the Department of Gastroenterology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University. We thank many online databases and resources for providing data and tools.

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Correspondence to Tao Deng.

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Zhang, Y., Ye, X., Wan, X. et al. Serum lipase as a biomarker for early prediction and diagnosis of post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis. Ir J Med Sci 189, 163–170 (2020).

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