Navigate Up

Men's Center - A-Z Index

#
Q
Y
Z

Print This Page

Secretin stimulation test

The secretin stimulation test measures the ability of the pancreas to respond to a hormone called secretin. The small intestine produces secretin when partially digested food into the area from the stomach.

Alternative Names

Pancreatic function test

How the test is performed

The doctor inserts a tube through your nose and into your stomach. The tube is then moved into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum ). You are give secretin through a vein (intravenously). The contents of the material released from the pancreas into the duodenum are removed through the tube over the next 1 - 2 hours.

How to prepare for the test

You will be asked to not eat or drink anything, including water, for 12 hours before the test.

How the test will feel

You may have a gagging feeling as the tube is inserted.

Why the test is performed

Secretin causes the pancreas to release a fluid that contains digestive enzymes. These enzymes break down food and help the body absorb nutrients.

The secretin stimulation test is done to check the digestive function of the pancreas. The following diseases may prevent the pancreas from working properly: 

In these conditions, there may be a lack of digestive enzymes or other chemicals in the fluid that comes from the pancreas. This can reduce the body's ability to digest food and absorb nutrients.

Normal Values

Normal value ranges may vary slightly depending on the lab doing the test. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What abnormal results mean

Abnormal values may mean that the pancreas is not working properly.

What the risks are

There is a slight risk of the tube being placed through the windpipe and into the lungs, instead of through the esophagus and into the stomach.

References

Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 142.

Rao SSC. Pancreatic secretion. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 56.

Updated: 10/8/2012

George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, and Stephanie Slon.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com