List Of Exams


Amylase is an enzyme found in the salivary glands and in the pancreas. It is also found in smaller quantity in other tissues. It hydrolyzes complex carbohydrates in the small intestine, assisting thus in digestion.

P – amylase and S – amylase are amylase’s isoenzymes. P – amylase is produced in the pancreas and comprises 40% of total amylase in blood, whereas S-amylase accounts for 60% of total amylase in blood and is produced mainly by the salivary glands.


Venous blood


  • 12 hour fasting prior to testing. Water is allowed.
  • Alcohol should be avoided
  • Cessation or dosage adjustment of certain drugs (aspirin, oral contraceptives, methyldopa, opioids, thiazide diuretics).



Increased values

  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Gastrointestinal perforation
  • Pregnancy
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Mumps (parotitis)
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Alcoholism
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Biliary ducts obstruction
  • Drugs (paracetamol, salicylates, estrogens, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, thiazide diuretics, corticosteroids).

Decreased values

  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Hepatic cirrhosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Severe burns
  • Pre-eclampsia

Additional information

Amylase levels are particularly high in acute pancreatitis (usually up to 5 – 10 times the normal level). However, the degree of its elevation does not necessarily correlate with the severity of pancreatitis.

In acute pancreatitis another enzyme called lipase is also elevated. Lipase is particularly sensitive in diagnosing alcoholic pancreatitis.