The trypsin/chymotrypsin test is easy and noninvasive. It is ordered when a newborn or infant has symptoms of cystic fibrosis such as persistent diarrhea, foul-smelling bulky greasy stools, malnutrition, and vitamin deficiency. Chymotrypsin may be ordered when a child or an adult has these symptoms in order to help diagnose pancreatic insufficiency.
A positive result, indicating the presence of trypsin and chymotrypsin in the stool, is normal. A negative result is not diagnostic, but it does indicate that further testing, both for pancreatic insufficiency and for cystic fibrosis, may be indicated. Other causes of pancreas dysfunction, such as acute and chronicpancreatitis, can cause negative results.
If someone's pancreas is not functioning correctly, the individual will need to be monitored closely by their physician. The person may find symptom relief and nutritional improvement by taking doctor-prescribed oral enzymes and vitamin supplements.
This article was last reviewed on December 11, 2012. | This article was last modified on June 10, 2014.
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