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23 Jul

Amylase Test

Brief Summary:

Amylase is one of several enzymes produced by the pancreas to help digest carbohydrates. This test measures the amount of amylase in the blood or urine or sometimes in peritoneal fluid.

Amylase is secreted through the pancreatic duct into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), where it helps break down dietary carbohydrates. It is also produced by other organs, particularly the salivary glands.

Amylase is usually present in the blood and urine in small quantities.

 

Technical Purpose:

Primarily to diagnose and monitor acute pancreatitis; also sometimes to diagnose and monitor chronic pancreatitis or other pancreatic diseases.

 

Test Process:

Amylase is secreted through the pancreatic duct into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), where it helps break down dietary carbohydrates. It is also produced by other organs, particularly the salivary glands.

Amylase is usually present in the blood and urine in small quantities. When cells in the pancreas are injured, as happens with pancreatitis, or when the pancreatic duct is blocked by a gallstone or by a pancreatic tumor in rare cases, increased amounts of amylase are released into the blood. This increases concentrations of amylase in the blood and also in the urine as amylase is eliminated from the blood through the urine.

 

Test Result/Outcome:

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. Then the amylase values will return to normal in a few days.

In chronic pancreatitis, amylase levels initially will be moderately elevated but often decrease over time with progressive pancreas damage. In this case, levels returning to normal may not indicate that the source of damage has been resolved. The magnitude of increase in amylase level does not indicate the severity of the pancreatic disease.

Amylase levels may also be significantly increased in people with pancreatic duct obstruction and pancreatic cancers.

 

Sources:

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/amylase

 

 

 

 

Qube Health
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