This test measures the level of the enzyme amylase in your urine.
About 40 percent of the amylase in your body is made by your pancreas, and the rest comes from your salivary glands. This test is used to find out whether you have pancreatitis or another pancreas-related disorder. If you have a pancreatic disorder, your amylase levels are typically higher than normal.
You may need this test if your health care provider suspects that your pancreas isn't working as it should.
Symptoms of pancreatitis or another pancreatic disorder include:
Abdominal or back pain
Loss of appetite
If you have been diagnosed with pancreatitis, your health care provider may order this test to monitor your disease or how well treatment is working.
Your health care provider may also order a blood test to check your amylase levels. He or she may also check your levels of lipase, another enzyme from the pancreas that may rise if you have pancreatitis. Amylase and lipase levels are often tested simultaneously.
You may also need an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan to help your doctor diagnose pancreatitis.
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider.
Higher than normal levels of amylase might mean a disorder other than pancreatitis. It's important to discuss this possibility with your doctor.
This test requires a urine sample usually collected over either a two- or 24-hour period. Your health care provider will tell you how to collect the sample.
This test poses no known risks.
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 contaminated with other bodily fluids, especially saliva, can affect your test results. Saliva contains a level of amylase 700 times higher than that of urine.
You don't need to prepare for this test.