DIGESTIVE DISEASE CENTER | Gastroenterology home | Surgery home

Patient care — diagnostic tools, tests, procedures

Pancreas - Secretin stimulation test: Secretin stimulation test is a test that measures the ability of the pancreas to respond to secretin. Secretin is a hormone secreted by the small intestines in the presence of partially digested food from the stomach; this hormone normally stimulates the pancreas to secrete a fluid with a high concentration of bicarbonate. This fluid neutralizes the acidity from the stomach that is necessary for a number of enzymes to function in the breakdown and absorption of food. In order to perform the test a tube is passed through the nose into the stomach then into the duodenum. Secretin is administered and the contents of the duodenal secretions are aspirated and analyzed over a period of about 2 hours. People with diseases involving the pancreas (for example chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, pancreatic cancer) may have abnormal pancreatic function.

How the test is performed: A tube is passed through the nose into the stomach then into the duodenum (part of the intestine). Secretin is administered and the contents of the duodenal secretions are removed through the tube and analyzed over a period of about 2 hours.

illustration

Return to diagnostic tools, tests page