The Amylase Test is a blood test that measures the level of amylase in the blood.
AM I REQUIRED TO FAST FOR THIS LAB TEST?
WHAT IS THE PRICE FOR AN AMYLASE LAB TEST?
*Price may vary by location – contact your local ANY LAB TEST NOW®
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY LAB TEST RESULTS?
Test results generally take between 24 to 72 business hours after your specimen is collected.
WHAT IS AN AMYLASE TEST?
Amylase is an enzyme that is normally present only in very low levels in the blood. Amylase, along with other enzymes, is produced by the pancreas to digest carbohydrates. It is released into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestines) in the digestive tract where it assists in food breakdown. Amylase is also produced by other organs in the body, particularly, the salivary glands. When the pancreas or the salivary glands are damaged, more amylase is released into the blood during an initial or acute attack of pancreatitis. Levels lower if the infection is not treated or the main causes of the damage to the pancreas continues so that amylase is not produced in enough quantity to digest the food leading to weight loss caused by malabsorption of food.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE MY AMYLASE LEVEL CHECKED?
Are you having abdominal or back pain, nausea and vomiting and a fever? Are you experiencing these symptoms and have gallbladder disease and/or consume large amounts of alcohol?
An Amylase test may be ordered when a person exhibits symptoms of pancreatitis (an infection of the pancreas). These symptoms include severe abdominal or back pain, nausea, fever or loss of appetite. With acute pancreatitis (short term or new onset) amylase levels may rise to as high as 4 to 6 times the normal level. Levels usually stay high until the cause of the infection has been treated. With long term pancreatitis or with pancreatic cancer the levels may rise initially and then gradually lower which would indicate long term damage to the pancreas.
Chronic pancreatitis is often associated with alcoholism, or may indicate a trauma to the pancreas or cystic fibrosis. Other causes could be gallstones, cystic fibrosis, high triglycerides or certain medications. If left untreated damage to the insulin producing cells of the pancreas which could lead to diabetes. The severity of pancreatitis can be mildly uncomfortable to severe and life threatening leading to bleeding into the pancreas, serious tissue damage, cysts and could harm other vital organs including the heart, lungs and kidney.
Adults 60 years of age or under: 25-125 units per liter (U/L)
Adults over 60 years of age: 24-151 U/L
HIGH RESULTS INDICATE:
High levels of amylase may indicate pancreatitis, a pancreatic cyst or pancreatic cancer, an inflammation of the salivary glands, such as mumps and other conditions including:
- Blockage or damage to the intestines
- A stomach ulcer
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- A ruptured ectopic pregnancy
- Kidney failure
- Appendicitis or peritonitis
LOW RESULTS INDICATE:
Low results could indicate damage to the pancreas from long term pancreatitis that prevents the pancreas from producing amylase.
WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICIAN SHOULD SEE IF I HAVE ABNORMAL OR OUT-OF-RANGE TEST RESULTS?
You should see your primary care physician.