Your doctor may order this test for you in order to assess problems with your pancreas or small bowel. A low level of elastase in the stool has been seen in patients with Rotavirus, Celiac Disease, or Salmonella. The test is also useful in assessing pancreatic function in those with Cystic Fibrosis, Shwachman disease, or chronic Pancreatitis.
What the test involves
This test requires you to collect a stool sample that will need to be taken to the hospital lab for analysis. You can catch the stool in the container provided or on plastic wrap that has been placed under the toilet seat. You will want to avoid any contamination of the stool with urine. Place the stool in the container provided by your doctor (or by the lab) and return it to the hospital lab. The sample should be refrigerated after collection, and should be given to the lab within 24 hours.
How to prepare for the Test
You should continue to eat your normal diet during the 3 days prior to collecting the stool sample. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue use of certain medications or food additives during this time.
After the Test
Results will be discussed and appropriate treatment carried out.