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.
Amylase in blood
| Adults age 60 and younger:
units per liter (U/L) or 0.4–2.1 microkatals/liter
|Adults older than age 60:
24–151 U/L or 0.4–2.5 mckat/L
Amylase in urine
|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 ratio
1%–4% or 0.01–0.04 clearance fraction
Values may be high because of:
- Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), a pancreatic cyst, or cancer of the pancreas.
- Inflammation of the
salivary glands , such as
- Blockage of, or severe damage to,
the intestines (bowel obstruction or strangulation).
stomach ulcer that has caused a hole in the stomach
- Gallstones that are causing
- A ruptured
- Kidney failure.
Appendicitis or peritonitis.
- Macroamylasemia, an
uncommon and harmless condition in which amylase is bound to a protein in the
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Medicines, including
opiates such as codeine and morphine, birth control
diuretics, indomethacin, and blood-thinning
medicines, such as warfarin and aspirin.
- Drinking a large
amount of alcohol before the test.
- Saliva, which contains large
amounts of amylase. Coughing, sneezing, or even talking over an uncovered urine
or blood specimen can contaminate the specimen and artificially increase
- Being pregnant.
- Having an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) test before the amylase test.