Secretin stimulation test is a test that measures the ability of the pancreas to respond to secretin. Secretin is a hormone secreted by the small intestines in the presence of partially digested food from the stomach; this hormone normally stimulates the pancreas to secrete a fluid with a high concentration of bicarbonate. This fluid neutralizes the acidity from the stomach that is necessary for a number of enzymes to function in the breakdown and absorption of food.
In order to perform the test a tube is passed through the nose into the stomach then into the duodenum. Secretin is administered and the contents of the duodenal secretions are aspirated and analyzed over a period of about 2 hours. People with diseases involving the pancreas, such as chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, or pancreatic cancer, may have abnormal pancreatic function.
Review Date 11/3/2022
Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.