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Amylase

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 blood 1
Adults age 60 and younger:

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

Adults older than age 60:

24–151 U/L or 0.4–2.5 mckat/L

Amylase in urine 1
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
Normal:

1%–4% or 0.01–0.04 clearance fraction

High values

Values may be high because of:

  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), a pancreatic cyst, or cancer of the pancreas.
  • Inflammation of the salivary glands camera.gif, such as mumps.
  • Blockage of, or severe damage to, the intestines (bowel obstruction or strangulation).
  • A stomach ulcer that has caused a hole in the stomach wall.
  • Gallstones that are causing pancreatitis.
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • A ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Appendicitis or peritonitis.
  • Macroamylasemia, an uncommon and harmless condition in which amylase is bound to a protein in the blood.

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 pills, 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 amylase values.
  • Being pregnant.
  • Having an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) camera.gif test before the amylase test.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
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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