Amylase (& Urine)

Clinical use:
Background: The pancreatic enzyme, amylase is normally secreted into the gastro-intestinal tract.Diseases of the pancreas e.g. pancreatitis or carcinoma of the head of the pancreas, causes amylase to enter the bloodstream. Circulating levels may rise to 30 times the normal values, and are of great diagnostic significance.

Alpha-amylase is one of the few proteins that can freely pass through the kidneys; consequently mild inflammation of the pancreas can be missed by measuring the blood levels of amylase due to this ″clearing″. In these cases urinary amylase levels will show raised excretion. Similarly, renal patients who develop pancreatitis may present with normal or moderately increased serum levels whilst the urine may show extremely high levels.

Reference ranges: Serum/plasma: 30 – 118U/L
Associated diseases:
Patient preparation:
Specimen requirements: Sample type:

    • Serum
    • Plasma (Lithium Heparin)


  • Random Urine in Plain Bottle

Sample identification:

  • Three patient identifiers from
    • Name
    • DOB
    • Address
    • NHS number
    • Unit number

    should match on the specimen and request form. This check may be performed prior to centrifugation by the Central Sort department.

Turnaround time: 2 hours
Additional information:
Referred test: