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 from the stomach moves into the area.
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How the Test is Performed
The health care provider 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 given secretin through a vein (intravenously). The fluids released from the pancreas into the duodenum are removed through the tube over the next 1 to 2 hours.
Sometimes, the fluid can be collected during an endoscopy.
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:
Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.