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Amylase Urine

Definition

This is a test that measures the amount of amylase in urine. Amylase is an enzyme that helps digest carbohydrates. It is produced mainly in the pancreas and the glands that make saliva.

Amylase may also be measured with a blood test. See: Amylase - blood

How the test is performed

A urine sample is needed. The test may be performed using a single urine sample or a 24-hour urine collection. For information on how to collect a sample, see:

How to prepare for the test

Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking certain drugs that can affect test results. Drugs that can increase amylase levels include:

  • Asparaginase
  • Aspirin
  • Pentazocine
  • Cholinergic agents
  • Corticosteroids
  • Indomethacin
  • Loop and thiazide diuretics
  • Methyldopa
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Birth control pills

How the test will feel

The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.

Why the test is performed

This test is done to diagnose pancreatitis and other diseases that affect the pancreas. Your doctor may also order this test to see how treatment for such conditions is working.

Normal Values

The normal range is 2.6 to 21.2 international units per hour (IU/h).

What abnormal results mean

An increased amount of amylase in the urine is called amylasuria. Increased amylase levels may indicate:

  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cancer of the pancreas, ovaries, or lungs
  • Cholecystitis
  • Ectopic or ruptured tubal pregnancy
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Infection of the salivary glands (mumps or an obstruction)
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Pancreatic duct obstruction
  • Perforated ulcer

Decreased amylase levels may be due to:

  • Damage to the pancreas
  • Kidney disease
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Toxemia of pregnancy

What the risks are

There are no risks.

References

Owyang C. Pancreatitis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 147.

Review Date: 5/20/2009

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Information developed by A.D.A.M., Inc. regarding tests and test results may not directly correspond with information provided by UCSF Medical Center. Please discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.