Does this test have other names?
Immunoreactive trypsinogen, IRT, newborn screening
What is this test?
This test measures the amount of trypsinogen in the blood. Trypsinogen is a chemical
made by the pancreas. It is usually made in small amounts to help with digestion.
In premature babies or babies who had a stressful delivery, levels of trypsinogen
in the blood may be elevated. High levels of trypsinogen in a newborn are may mean
cystic fibrosis (CF). To find health problems early, trypsinogen is measured as part
of a routine newborn health screening.
Why do I need this test?
Routine newborn screening is done for all babies to check for a variety of different
blood components, including trypsinogen.
In children and adults, a high level of trypsinogen can be a sign of a pancreas problem.
You may need this test if your healthcare provider suspects that you have pancreatic
disease or insufficiency.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
As part of a newborn screening, other blood components will be measured.
If you're having the test because of a possible pancreas problem, your healthcare
provider may order other tests, including:
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare
In general, a level of trypsinogen that's higher than normal could mean that a newborn
has cystic fibrosis. Infants with high levels usually have a second test several weeks
after birth to confirm the diagnosis.
In an older child or an adult, an elevated level of trypsinogen can mean a disorder
of the pancreas.
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your
Blood samples from newborns are usually taken from the heel.
Does this test pose any risks?
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection,
bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight
stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
What might affect my test results?
Trypsinogen levels can rise throughout the day and be higher after a meal.
How do I get ready for this test?
For newborns, no special preparation is needed for a trypsinogen test.
Children and adults may need to fast for 8 hours before the test. Your healthcare
provider will give you specific instructions. Be sure your 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.