Lab Test

Amylase, Blood


Test Codes

Antrim #17271, EPIC: LAB5008, AMYB



Specimen Collection Criteria


Preferred Sample:  One Light Green (Mint) Top Plasma Separator Tube (PST). (Minimum Whole Blood: 4.0 mL) 

Acceptable Sample:  One Gold Top SST (Minimum Whole Blood: 4.0 mL) 

Do NOT use Dark Green-top Lithium or Sodium Heparin tubes.


COLLECT:  One Gold Top SST (Minimum Whole Blood:  4.0 mL) 

Contact the Laboratory for acceptability of other tube types.
See Minimum Pediatric Specimen Requirements for Microtainer® collection.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Let SST specimens clot 30-60 minutes then immediately centrifuge to separate serum from cells. Refrigerate (2–8°C or 36–46°F) the centrifuged SST tube within two hours of collection. (Minimum: 0.5 mL)

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Centrifuged SST tube, refrigerated (2–8°C or 36–46°F). (Minimum: 0.5 mL)

Rejection Criteria

  • Moderate to grossly hemolyzed specimens.
  • Red-top tubes with serum not separated from cells within two hours of collection.

In-Lab Processing

Let SST specimens clot 30–60 minutes. Centrifuge SST tubes and Microtainers® to separate serum from cells. Deliver immediately to the appropriate testing station.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Centrifuged SST Tubes and Microtainers® with Separator Gel
Room Temperature (20–26°C or 68–78.8°F): 2–4 hours
Refrigerated (2–8°C or 36–46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Red-top Tubes and Microtainers® without Separator Gel
Room Temperature (20–26°C or 68–78.8°F): 2–4 hours
Refrigerated (2–8°C or 36–46°F): Unacceptable
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Serum Specimens (Pour-Overs)
Room Temperature (20–26°C or 68–78.8°F): 2–4 hours
Refrigerated (2–8°C or 36–46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 7 days

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Refrigerated (2–8°C or 36–46°F): 7 days


Canton Chemistry Laboratory
Dearborn Chemistry Laboratory
Farmington Hills Chemistry Laboratory
Grosse Pointe Chemistry Laboratory
Livonia Main Laboratory
Lenox Main Laboratory
Royal Oak Automated Chemistry Laboratory
Troy Chemistry Laboratory
Taylor Chemistry Laboratory
Trenton Chemistry Laboratory
Wayne Chemistry Laboratory 


Sunday – Saturday, 24 hours a day.
STAT results available within 1 hour of receipt in the Laboratory.
Routine results available within 4 hours.

Reference Range

<100 U/L.

Test Methodology



The greatest increases in serum amylase are usually seen in acute pancreatitis, but amylase may also be increased with pancreatic pseudocyst, abscess, trauma or common bile duct stones. These increases are due to an increase in the pancreatic isoenzyme. Amylase may be normal even in the presence of pancreatitis, especially with relapsing and chronic pancreatitis. Increases in Amylase, Urine may persist for longer than the serum increases.

The salivary isoenzyme of amylase is present in a number of tissues/organs. Damage or inflammation to these may also lead to hyperamylasemia, e.g. inflammation of salivary glands (mumps), perforated duodenal ulcer, intestinal obstruction or infarction, peritonitis, diabetic ketoacidosis, carcinomas (especially of esophagus, lung, ovary), ruptured ectopic pregnancy and tubo-ovarian abscess. Serum amylase may also be elevated in chronic renal failure and with macroamylasemia (amylase bound to an immunoglobulin). In macroamylasemia urine amylase will be normal. This can be diagnosed by ordering Amylase Iso Enzymes, Serum or by finding a low or absent urinary amylase in the presence of an elevated serum amylase.

Clinical Utility

Amylase measurements aid in the diagnosis and management of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

CPT Codes



Last Updated


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