Imperial Collage Healthcare

Amylase


Test Background
Amylase is produced in the pancreas to facilitate the digestion of starch; its (over)accumulation in the blood might reflect an obstruction in the pancreatic duct secondary to a gallstone or tumour, or may be due to the presence of acute/chronic pancreatitis.


Clinical Indications

  • Pancreatitis-like presentation: severe abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite or nausea
  • Suspected malignancy (pancreatic, salivary, prostate, lung and ovarian)
  • Cholecystitis
  • Post-operative assessment following intra-abdominal surgery or ERCP
  • Urinary amylase may be used for monitoring treatment of acute pancreatitis while hyperamylasuria is diagnostic of late-presentation acute pancreatitis (when levels in serum have typically already declined)
  • Increased blood amylase levels with normal or low urine amylase levels may indicate decreased kidney function or the presence of macroamylasaemia


Reference Range

Blood : 0-90 IU/L
Urine : no reference range


Sample Required
SST (gold top)
Urine: 24 hour collection


Sample Volume
Blood: 0.5 mL
Urine: 24 hour collection


Turnaround Time
Blood: 1 day
Urine: 2 days


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