Health Information

Amylase - urine

Amylase - urine


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.

A urine sample is needed. The test may be performed using:

  • Clean-catch urine test
  • 24-hour urine collection

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • How the Test is Performed

    A urine sample is needed. The test may be performed using:

    • Clean-catch urine test
    • 24-hour urine collection
  • How to Prepare for the Test

    Many medicines can interfere with test results.

    • Your health care provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines before you have this test.
    • Do not stop or change your medications without talking to your doctor first.
  • How the Test Will Feel

    The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.

  • Why the Test is Performed

    This test is done to diagnose pancreatitis and other diseases that affect the pancreas.

  • Normal Results

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

    Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

    The example above shows the common measurement range for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

  • What Abnormal Results Mean

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

    • Acute pancreatitis
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Cancer of the pancreas, ovaries, or lungs
    • Cholecystitis
    • Ectopic or ruptured tubal pregnancy
    • Gallbladder disease
    • Infection of the salivary glands (called sialoadenitis, may be caused by mumps or a blockage)
    • Intestinal obstruction
    • Pancreatic duct obstruction
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease
    • Perforated ulcer

    Decreased amylase levels may be due to:

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

Related Information

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Forsmark CE. Pancreatitis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 146.

Tenner S, Steinberg WM. Acute pancreatitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 58.


Review Date: 5/11/2013  

Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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