Test Catalog

Interpretive Handbook

Test 8371 :
Amylase, Body Fluid

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Amylases are a group of hydrolases that degrade complex carbohydrates into fragments.


Amylase is produced by the exocrine pancreas and the salivary glands to aid in the digestion of starch. It is also produced by the small intestine mucosa, ovaries, placenta, liver, and fallopian tubes.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Evaluation of patients suspected of having acute pancreatitis.


If ascites are present, it is occasionally used to demonstrate pancreatic inflammation. If this is true, the level will be at least ten times that of serum.

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

No control range has been obtained so interpretation is qualitative and thought to be positive for pancreatitis if >1,100 U/L (10 times the serum normal range).

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

There are no normal ranges, so the test should be used only qualitatively.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Not applicable

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry. Edited by CA Burtis, ER Ashwood. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Company, 1994

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