Amylase is an enzyme for digestion of carbohydrates (glycogen and starch). It is produced mainly in the pancreas and the salivary glands. The level of the enzyme in blood increases in diseases of the pancreas.
A sample of blood is drawn from a vein for the test. Certain medicines like aspirin, steroids, codeine, morphine, birth control pills and certain medicines for blood pressure may interfere with the test and give falsely high values.
Normal Levels vary from: 40-140 Units/Litre
Increased levels are seen in:
Pancreatitis (inflammation/swelling of the pancreas)
Cancer of the pancreas
Cholecystitis (inflammation/swelling of the gall bladder)
Infection or inflammation of the salivary glands.
Obstruction of the bile or pancreatic duct.
Acute abdominal diseases like peptic ulcer, intestinal obstruction, peritonitis or recent abdominal surgery.