Stool - trypsin and chymotrypsin

Alternative names
Trypsin and chymotrypsin in stool

Definition
This test detects the presence of trypsin and chymotrypsin in stool.

How the test is performed

There are many ways to collect the samples. Your health care provider will instruct you on how to collect the stool.

You can catch the stool on plastic wrap that is loosely placed over the toilet bowl and held in place by the toilet seat. Then put the sample in a clean container. One type of test kit supplies a special tissue that you use to collect the sample, then put the sample in a clean container.

Infants and young children:
For children wearing diapers, you can line the diaper with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should be positioned to prevent the mixing of urine and stool.

A drop of emulsified stool is placed on a thin layer of gelatin. If trypsin or chymotrypsin are present, the gelatin will be digested, which will produce a clearing of the gelatin.

How to prepare for the test
Your health care provider will provide you with the necessary supplies to collect the stool.

Why the test is performed

Trypsin and chymotrypsin are proteolytic enzymes released from the pancreas during normal digestion. This test is a simple screening test sometimes used to test young children suspected of having cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis causes the formation of mucous plugs that can obstruct the pancreatic ducts that empty into the small intestines.

Normal Values
Positive test results are normal.

What abnormal results mean

Negative test results suggest the possibility of cystic fibrosis.

Note: This is a screening tool, not a diagnostic test. A diagnosis of cystic fibrosis requires further investigation.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 8, 2012
by Brenda A. Kuper, M.D.

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