Also Known As
Chymotrypsin, fecal
Formal Name
Stool Chymotrypsin
This article was last reviewed on
This article waslast modified on
May 27, 2018.
At a Glance
Why Get Tested?

To help detect and evaluate pancreatic insufficiency

When To Get Tested?

When you have symptoms such as persistent diarrhea; foul-smelling, bulky, greasy stools; malnutritionmalabsorption; and vitamin deficiency and pancreatic insufficiency is suspected

Sample Required?

A fresh stool sample, uncontaminated with urine

Test Preparation Needed?

If you are taking pancreatic enzymes, you may be instructed to discontinue taking the enzymes 5 days before providing the stool sample.

You may be able to find your test results on your laboratory's website or patient portal. However, you are currently at Lab Tests Online. You may have been directed here by your lab's website in order to provide you with background information about the test(s) you had performed. You will need to return to your lab's website or portal, or contact your healthcare practitioner in order to obtain your test results.

Lab Tests Online is an award-winning patient education website offering information on laboratory tests. The content on the site, which has been reviewed by laboratory scientists and other medical professionals, provides general explanations of what results might mean for each test listed on the site, such as what a high or low value might suggest to your healthcare practitioner about your health or medical condition.

The reference ranges for your tests can be found on your laboratory report. They are typically found to the right of your results.

If you do not have your lab report, consult your healthcare provider or the laboratory that performed the test(s) to obtain the reference range.

Laboratory test results are not meaningful by themselves. Their meaning comes from comparison to reference ranges. Reference ranges are the values expected for a healthy person. They are sometimes called "normal" values. By comparing your test results with reference values, you and your healthcare provider can see if any of your test results fall outside the range of expected values. Values that are outside expected ranges can provide clues to help identify possible conditions or diseases.

While accuracy of laboratory testing has significantly evolved over the past few decades, some lab-to-lab variability can occur due to differences in testing equipment, chemical reagents, and techniques. This is a reason why so few reference ranges are provided on this site. It is important to know that you must use the range supplied by the laboratory that performed your test to evaluate whether your results are "within normal limits."

For more information, please read the article Reference Ranges and What They Mean.

What is being tested?

Chymotrypsin is an enzyme that digests protein in the small intestine. This test measures the amount of chymotrypsin in stool to help evaluate whether someone's pancreas is functioning properly.

Chymotrypsinogen, the inactive precursor of chymotrypsin, is produced in the pancreas and transported to the small intestine. In the small intestine, it is activated to form chymotrypsin. It is one of the enzymes responsible for breaking down the protein in food into smaller pieces, called peptides. Chymotrypsin is detectable in the stool if the pancreas is functioning normally.

Individuals with pancreatic dysfunction may either have blocked pancreatic ducts or the cells that produce chymotrypsinogen may be damaged or destroyed. Such cell damage and duct blockage cause pancreatic insufficiency because the amount of enzymes transported to the small intestine is inadequate for proper food digestion. This is often seen in conditions such as chronic pancreatitis and sometimes pancreatic cancer.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A fresh stool sample, uncontaminated with urine, is collected.

Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?

If you are taking pancreatic enzymes, you may be instructed to discontinue taking the enzymes 5 days before providing the stool sample.

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Common Questions
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