• Serum was obtained from 55 patients, including 43 with stable chronic renal failure (CRF) (28 receiving chronic hemodialysis [CHD] and 15 receiving chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis [CAPD]), nine with peritonitis receiving CAPD, and three with pancreatitis receiving CAPD. Total serum amylase activity, lipase activity, isoamylase fractionation, and lipase concentration were used to measure pancreatic enzymes. Amylase activity was increased in 35 of 43 patients with CRF but was greater than threefold elevated in only three. Pancreatic isoamylase activity was greater than 80% in only one patient with CRF but was greater than 80% in all three patients with pancreatitis receiving CAPD. Lipase activity was increased in 26 patients and lipase concentration was elevated in 27. Peritoneal fluid from three patients with pancreatitis receiving CAPD contained high levels of amylase. Serum amylase and lipase are frequently elevated in patients with CRF in the absence of clinical pancreatitis. However, serum amylase activity greater than threefold elevated or the presence of pancreatic enzymes in the peritoneal fluid may suggest coexistent pancreatitis.
(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:537-539)