At the present time, there are no adequate means of estimating pancreatic function. Many tests have been devised and modified, but sooner or later have been discarded. The chief objection seems to be that clinical diagnoses cannot be confirmed by such tests with any reasonable degree of accuracy.
That several of the present means of estimation are based on sound principles is evident, but entirely too much has been expected of the tests. With the present means, diseases of the pancreas of a mild degree, or relatively nondestructive, cannot be determined.
The probability that the pancreatic tissue is normally present in an amount far in excess of the actual enzyme requirement seems to have been overlooked or disregarded in much of the work that has been done. Criticism that has been offered in connection with the problem has not taken this factor into consideration. It seems likely that the pancreas,
WOLFER JA, CHRISTIAN LW. PANCREATIC FUNCTION TESTSWITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE QUANTITATIVE DETERMINATION OF FECAL AMYLASE. Arch Surg. 1928;17(6):899-917. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1928.01140120003001