An amylase test measures the amount of amylase in your blood or urine. Amylase is an enzyme, or special protein, that helps you digest food. Most of your amylase is made in the pancreas and salivary glands. A small amount of amylase in your blood and urine is normal. A larger or smaller amount may mean that you have a disorder of the pancreas, an infection, alcoholism, or another medical condition.
Primarily to diagnose and monitor acute pancreatitis; also sometimes to diagnose and monitor chronic pancreatitis or other pancreatic diseases
When you have symptoms of a pancreatic disorder, such as severe abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, or nausea.
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm. Sometimes a random urine sample, a 24-hour urine sample, or peritoneal fluid is collected.
Find answers to common questions about patient lab test results. For additional help, contact our Health Information Management Services department.
The blood amylase test is used to help diagnose and monitor acute pancreatitis. It may also be used to diagnose and monitor chronic pancreatitis and other disorders that may involve the pancreas. The blood amylase test may be used along with a lipase test to detect pancreatic diseases. That means an elevated amylase level may indicate a problem, but the cause may not be related to the pancreas. The lipase test, on the other hand, is more specific than amylase for diseases of the pancreas, particularly for acute pancreatitis.
A blood amylase test may be ordered when a person has signs or symptoms of a pancreatic disorder, such as: Severe upper abdominal pain that radiates to the back or feels worse after eating, Fever, Loss of appetite, Nausea, vomiting, Yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice), Rapid pulse Loose, fatty, foul-smelling, stools (steatorrhea).
A high amylase level in the blood may indicate the presence of a condition affecting the pancreas. In acute pancreatitis, amylase in the blood often increases to 4 to 6 times higher than the highest reference value, sometimes called the upper limit of normal. The increase occurs within 4 to 8 hours of injury to the pancreas and generally remains elevated until the cause is successfully treated. The amylase values will then return to normal in a few days.
Chronic pancreatitis is often associated with alcoholism. It may also be caused by trauma or pancreatic duct obstruction or may be seen in association with genetic abnormalities such as cystic fibrosis. In addition to the pancreas and salivary glands, amylase is produced in other parts of the body, such as the small intestine, ovaries, fallopian tubes and liver. However, most laboratory tests simply measure total amylase in the blood based on the fact that most of the amylase in blood, urine and fluids comes from the pancreas.
No. Amylase levels may also be significantly increased in people with gallbladder attacks. Urine and blood amylase levels may be moderately elevated with a variety of other conditions, such as ovarian cancer, lung cancer, tubal pregnancy, acute appendicitis, diabetic ketoacidosis, mumps, intestinal obstruction, or perforated ulcer, but amylase tests are not generally used to diagnose or monitor these disorders.
Intermountain Healthcare is contracted with the majority of insurance plans for laboratory testing. These insurance plans cover the most commonly ordered lab tests. If you have a question about specific tests your physician has ordered, please contact your insurance carrier. Your physician’s billing office may also be able to tell you what out-of-pocket expenses there may be, if any.
No appointment is needed; we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After hours on week days or on the weekend, please come to the Emergency Department to register.
You need to bring your identification, your insurance information, the test order from your provider with the diagnosis or reason the test is being done, & his or her signature.
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