Normally, only low levels of amylase are found in the blood or urine. But if the pancreas or salivary glands become damaged or blocked, more amylase is usually released into the blood and urine. In the blood, amylase levels rise for only a short time. In the urine, amylase may remain high for several days.
Why It Is Done
A test for amylase is done to:
How To Prepare
To prepare for an amylase test:
Many medicines may affect the results of this test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the nonprescription and prescription medicines you take.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
The health professional drawing your blood will:
Amylase can be measured in a 24-hour or 2-hour urine sample.
A 24-hour urine sample is all of the urine you produce over a 24-hour period.
A 2-hour urine sample is all of the urine you produce over a 2-hour period. Collect it in the same manner as the 24-hour urine sample, during the 2-hour period your health professional recommends.
How It Feels
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.
There is no pain while collecting a 2-hour or 24-hour urine sample.
There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.
There are no risks associated with collecting a 2-hour or 24-hour urine sample.
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.
Values may be high because of:
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
What To Think About
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
- Early Care for Your Premature Baby
- What to Eat When You Have Cancer
- When to Take More Pain Medication