Does this test have other names?
Plasma pancreatic polypeptide, PP, human pancreatic polypeptide
What is this test?
This test measures a substance in your blood called pancreatic polypeptide. Pancreatic
polypeptide is secreted by cells in your pancreas.
People who have neuroendocrine tumors have higher levels of this substance. These
tumors can be functional or nonfunctional. Nonfunctional tumors are more common. They
are called nonfunctional because they secrete substances that do not cause symptoms.
That means they may not cause any symptoms until they have grown large.
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test if your healthcare provider suspects that you have a pancreatic
neuroendocrine tumor. When these tumors cause symptoms, they can seem similar to many
other common digestive problems. Symptoms of nonfunctional pancreatic neuroendocrine
If you have already been diagnosed with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, you may
need this test to help your healthcare provider decide on the best treatment for you.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also order other tests to look for other substances in
your blood that rise if you have a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. These substances
are called biochemical tumor markers.
Your provider may also order an imaging test that takes a picture of your pancreas.
He or she may also order a biopsy. This involves taking out a small piece of the tumor
and looking at it under a microscope.
What do my test results mean?
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used
for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem.
Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.
Pancreatic polypeptide is measured in picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).
A high blood level may mean you have:
How is this test done?
The test is done with a blood sample. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein in
your arm or hand.
Does this test pose any risks?
Having a blood test with a needle carries some risks. These include bleeding, infection,
bruising, and feeling lightheaded. When the needle pricks your arm or hand, you may
feel a slight sting or pain. Afterward, the site may be sore.
What might affect my test results?
Eating before the test will cause pancreatic polypeptide levels to rise.
How do I get ready for this test?
You will need to fast for 8 hours before this test. Be sure your healthcare provider
knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes
medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.