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Amylase

How It Feels

Blood test

The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.

Urine test

There is no pain while collecting a 2-hour or 24-hour urine sample.

Risks

Blood test

There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.

  • You may get a small bruise at the site. You can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes.
  • In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be used several times a day to treat this.
  • Ongoing bleeding can be a problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell your doctor before your blood sample is taken.

Urine test

There are no risks associated with collecting a 2-hour or 24-hour urine sample.

Results

An amylase test measures the amount of this enzyme in a sample of blood taken from a vein or in a sample of urine. Many conditions can change amylase levels. Your doctor will discuss any significant abnormal results with you in relation to your symptoms and past health.

Results are normally available within 72 hours.

The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

Normal

Amylase in blood1
Adults age 60 and younger:

25–125 units per liter (U/L) or 0.4–2.1 microkats/liter (mckat/L)

Adults older than age 60:

24–151 U/L or 0.4–2.5 mckat/L

Amylase in urine1
2-hour urine sample:

2–34 U or 16–283 nanokats/hour

24-hour urine sample:

24–408 U or 400–6,800 nanokats/day

Amylase/creatinine clearance ratio1
Normal:

1%–4% or 0.01–0.04 clearance fraction

High values

Values may be high because of:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 08, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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