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Amylase (Urine)

Does this test have other names?


What is this test?

This test measures how much of the enzyme amylase is in your urine.

About 40% of the amylase in your body is made by your pancreas. The rest comes from your salivary glands.  This test is used to find out whether your pancreas or your salivary glands are swollen. Your amylase levels are usually higher than normal if you have a problem with your pancreas. High levels can also be caused by an infection, cancer, or even alcohol or medicines you are taking.

Why do I need this test?

You may need this test if your health care provider thinks your pancreas isn't working as it should.

Symptoms of a swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis) or another problem with the pancreas include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Fever

  • Abdominal or back pain

  • Loss of appetite

If you have been diagnosed with pancreatitis, your health care provider may order this test to monitor your disease. He or she may also order the test to see how well treatment is working.  

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your  health care provider may also order these tests:

  • Lipase

  • Tripsinogen

  • Hematocrit

  • Liver function tests

  • Abdominal CT

  • Abdominal ultrasound

  • MRI scan

What do my test results mean?

Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider. 

If your amylase levels are higher than normal, you may have one of many conditions. These include:

  • Sudden swelling of the pancreas (acute pancreatitis)

  • Chronic pancreatitis that suddenly gets worse

  • Cancers of the pancreas, breast, colon, ovary, or lung

  • A sore in the pancreas

  • A type of cyst in the pancreas (pancreatic pseudocysts)

  • Swelling in your abdomen (ascites)

  • Macroamylasemia, which is having an abnormal substance called macroamylase in your blood

  • Peptic ulcer that has a hole in it (perforated ulcer)

  • Death of tissue in your intestine (intestinal infarction)

  • Blockage in your intestines

  • Appendicitis

  • Sudden swelling of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis)

  • Ruptured ectopic pregnancy

  • Salivary gland swelling

  • Swelling of the lining of your abdomen (peritonitis)

  • Burns

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

  • Kidney problems

  • Use of drugs such as morphine

  • Alcohol use

  • Mumps

  • Tumors in the prostate

  • Eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Higher levels of triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia)

Your levels may also be higher after a pancreatic test such as a cholangiopancreatography. They may also be higher after surgery or trauma.

Your amylase levels may be lower in these conditions:

  • Chronic pancreatitis

  • Liver failure

  • Cystic fibrosis

How is this test done?

This test requires a urine sample usually collected over either a two- or 24-hour period. Your health care provider will tell you how to collect the sample.

Does this test pose any risks?

This test poses no known risks.

What might affect my test results?

If you have high cholesterol or high triglycerides in addition to a pancreatic disorder, your test results might be lower than expected.

A urine sample that has other bodily fluids in it, especially saliva, can affect your test results. Saliva has a level of amylase 700 times higher than that of urine.

How do I get ready for this test?

You don't need to prepare for this test.   

Amylase (Urine) - WellSpan Health

Author: Myers, Wyatt
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Ziegler, Olivia Walton, MS, PA-C
Last Review Date: 2015-05-22T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2015-07-24T00:00:00
Published Date: 2015-07-24T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2012-04-27T00:00:00
© 2016 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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