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To establish a reference interval for a feline-specific pancreatic lipase assay (Spec fPL test; Idexx Laboratories Inc) in healthy cats and determine the sensitivity and specificity of the Spec fPL test in a large group of ill cats with and without pancreatitis.


41 healthy cats, 141 cats with clinical signs consistent with pancreatitis, and 786 stored sera with known feline pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (fPLI) concentrations.


This was a prospective, cross-sectional, nonrandomized study. Based on a detailed review of the medical history and results of physical examination, CBC, serum biochemical profile, urinalysis, abdominal ultrasonography, and clinical outcome, each cat was categorized by 2 board-certified internists masked to the fPLI test results into 1 of 6 categories from definitely pancreatitis to definitely not pancreatitis.


The reference interval for the Spec fPL test, determined from the central 95th percentile of results from healthy cats, was fPLI of 0.7 to 3.5 µg/L. An fPLI concentration of ≥ 5.4 µg/L was determined to be consistent with pancreatitis. With an fPLI of 5.4 µg/L as the diagnostic cutoff, the sensitivity of the Spec fPL test for feline pancreatitis (definitely pancreatitis and probably pancreatitis) was 79.4%, the specificity for cats characterized as probably not pancreatitis and definitely not pancreatitis was 79.7%, and positive and negative predictive values were 69% and 87%, respectively.


These findings support the use of the Spec fPL test as a valuable diagnostic test for feline pancreatitis.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association