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Amylase (Urine)

Does this test have other names?


What is this test?

This test measures how much of the enzyme amylase is in your urine.

About 40% of the amylase in your body is made by your pancreas. The rest comes from your salivary glands. This test is used to find out if you have a condition that affects your pancreas or your salivary glands. Your amylase levels are usually higher than normal if you have a problem with your pancreas. High levels can also be caused by an infection, cancer, or even alcohol or certain medicines.

Why do I need this test?

You may need this test if your healthcare provider thinks your pancreas isn't working as it should.

Symptoms of a swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis) or another problem with the pancreas include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Foul-smelling, greasy stools

  • Fever

  • Fast pulse

  • Abdominal or back pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

If you have been diagnosed with pancreatitis, your healthcare provider may order this test to monitor your disease. They may also order the test to see how well treatment is working.  

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your healthcare provider may also order these tests:

  • Lipase

  • Trypsinogen

  • Hematocrit

  • Liver function tests

  • Abdominal CT

  • Abdominal ultrasound

  • MRI scan

What do my test results mean?

Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, and other things. Your test results may be different depending on the lab used. They may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.

If your amylase levels are higher than normal, you may have 1 of many conditions. These include:

  • Sudden swelling of the pancreas (acute pancreatitis)

  • Chronic pancreatitis that suddenly gets worse

  • Cancers of the pancreas, breast, colon, ovary, or lung

  • A sore in the pancreas

  • A type of cyst in the pancreas (pancreatic pseudocysts)

  • Swelling in your abdomen (ascites)

  • Macroamylasemia. This is a noncancer (benign) condition marked by having a substance called macroamylase in your blood.

  • Peptic ulcer that has a hole in it (perforated ulcer)

  • Death of tissue in your intestine (intestinal infarction)

  • Blockage in your intestines

  • Appendicitis

  • Sudden swelling of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis)

  • Ruptured ectopic pregnancy

  • Salivary gland swelling

  • Swelling of the lining of your abdomen (peritonitis)

  • Burns

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

  • Kidney problems

  • Use of certain medicines such as morphine

  • Alcohol use

  • Mumps

  • Tumors in the prostate

  • Eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Higher levels of triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia)

Your levels may also be higher after a pancreatic test such as a cholangiopancreatography. They may also be higher after surgery or trauma.

Your amylase levels may be lower with these conditions:

  • Chronic pancreatitis

  • Liver failure

  • Cystic fibrosis

How is this test done?

This test requires a urine sample usually collected over either a 2- or 24-hour period. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to collect the sample.

Does this test pose any risks?

This test poses no known risks.

What might affect my test results?

If you have high cholesterol or high triglycerides in addition to a pancreatic disorder, your test results might be lower than expected.

A urine sample that has other bodily fluids in it, especially saliva, can affect your test results. Saliva has a level of amylase 700 times higher than that of urine.

How do I get ready for this test?

You don't need to prepare for this test.   

Online Medical Reviewer: Chad Haldeman-Englert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2022
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.