Amylase is an enzyme produced by the salivary glands and pancreas. This special protein helps in the breakdown of carbohydrate and starch into sugar. An abnormal quantity of this enzyme in the body may cause pancreatic disorder, alcoholism, infection, and other medical ailments.
An Amylase enzymatic serum test is conducted to measure the amount of amylase in the blood or urine. This test also helps in diagnosing pancreatic disorders. A person may suffer a pancreatic disorder because of the lower or higher level of amylase.
The higher level of this enzyme indicates blockage or rupturing of the tubes in the pancreas. It may also be due to acute pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer. The lower level of amylase indicates the underlying condition of liver disease, chronic pancreatitis, or cystic fibrosis.
Procedure involved in Amylase enzymatic Serum
For an amylase blood test:
A sample of blood is taken through a vein. The procedure involves the following steps:
An antiseptic is applied to the area from where blood will be drawn
An elastic band will be tied around the arm to increase the amount of blood flow. This makes it easier to find the vein.
Then a needle is inserted in the vein to take out the blood.
At last, the blood sample is collected in a sterilized tube and sent to a lab for the test.
For an amylase urine test:
The sample of urine is collected in a sterile container. The test is performed within 24-hours of the collection of the sample to get more accurate results.
Why get tested?
This test is usually advised if the doctor suspects pancreatitis. Increase in the level of this enzyme may cause pancreatic disorders such as pancreatic cancer, pancreatic pseudocyst, or pancreatic abscess.
A doctor may advise an amylase serum test if the patient has symptoms such as:
Loss of appetite
Severe abdominal pain
Nausea and vomiting
This test includes
Consumption of alcohol should be avoided before the test.
Inform the doctor about the on-going medications as it may affect the results of the test.
Medicines that may affect the results of the test are: