Blood test

High amylase level in the blood

Blood test
High amylase level in the blood

What is high amylase level in the blood called?

  • Hyperamylasemia

What is the normal level of amylase in the blood?

If you need to know which are the amylase reference ranges or you require more information about the role of amylase in the blood you can visit: Normal amylase level in the blood

What does a high amylase level in the blood mean?

A high amylase level in the blood may suggest a pancreatic disorder, for example pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). More than 80% of the people with acute pancreatitis have an increase in the amylase level after 24 to 48 hours, which can last between 3 and 5 days.

People with pancreatitis caused by gallstones has a higher level of amylase in the blood that the ones that experience pancreatitis for another reason such as related to alcohol consumption.

Hyperamylasemia can also be present in case of liver or kidney failure.

The elevation of amylase must be persistent to be considered a diagnostic factor. That means that the elevation should be corroborated in successive assays.

  • Mild hyperamylasemia (100 - 150 U/dl in adults):

    The amylase level in the blood is a bit high. If you do not feel abdominal pain or any other symptom it is not a matter for concern. The amylase level in the blood has many fluctuations. A single high value should be confirmed with successive assays.

    You should take a new blood test to know if the values keep high or return to normality.

  • Moderate hyperamylasemia (150 - 200 U/dl in adults):

    The amylase level in the blood is moderately high. There are too many circumstances that can elevate the amylase without a clear trigger.

    If you feel abdominal pain, it is recommended to take additional tests, for example an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a CT (computed tomography) to detect a pancreatic problem (pancreatitis) or a gallbladder disorder (cholecystitis).

  • Marked hyperamylasemia (200 - 500 U/dl in adults) :

    Marked hyperamylasemia is compatible with an acute pancreatitis. It shows a peak of the amylase in the blood after 24 to 36 hours and begin to lower 48 hours later.

    It is recommended to study the amylase along with lipase in the blood. If lipase level in the blood is 5 times higher than normal range, it is suggestive of a pancreatitis.

    If you feel abdominal pain, CT (computed tomography) is the best screening test to detect problems in the pancreas.

    A severe gastroenteritis may also be a possibility.

    Anyway, such a high value of amylase in the blood recommend a visit to your doctor.

  • Severe hyperamylasemia (> 500 U/dL):

    Amylase level in the blood is so high that you are probably suffering from an acute pancreatitis. You should visit your doctor as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your pancreas.

    Very high values of amylase in the blood can be seen after and ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), a technique to diagnose and treat problems of the pancreas and the bile ducts.

Which factors can raise the amylase level in the blood?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise your amylase level in the blood:

  • Alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Burns
  • Abdominal trauma
  • Drugs
    • Antineoplastics
      • Asparaginase
      • Azathioprine
    • Oral Contraceptives
    • Antihypertensives
      • Methyldopa
    • Antihistamine
      • Cyproheptadine
    • Antituberculars
      • Aminosalicylic acid
    • Aspirin
    • Iodinated contrast
    • Diuretics
      • Etacrynic acid
      • Chlortalidone
      • Furosemide
      • Thiazides
    • Opiate
      • Codeine
      • Pethidine
      • Morphine

Which diseases can raise your amylase level in the blood?

High values of amylase in the blood can be a sign of the following diseases:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Chronic cholecystitis
  • Mumps
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Peritonitis
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Kidney failure
  • Macroamylasemia
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Mesenteric ischemia
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Hepatitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome
  • Cholestasis
  • HIV Human immunodeficiency virus

What can I do to lower the amylase level in the blood?

If your amylase level in the blood is slightly high, you should keep in mind the following tips:

  • Follow a low fat diet. Reduce your intake of red meat and sausages. Increase your intake of fiber. You should eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake.
  • Follow the recommendations of your doctor and take the drugs prescribed by your doctor.

Where can I find more information about amylase in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high amylase level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in U/L. They are an example of a healthy man of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Mild hyperamylasemia
101 U/l102 U/l103 U/l104 U/l105 U/l106 U/l107 U/l108 U/l
109 U/l110 U/l111 U/l112 U/l113 U/l114 U/l115 U/l116 U/l
117 U/l118 U/l119 U/l120 U/l121 U/l122 U/l123 U/l124 U/l
125 U/l126 U/l127 U/l128 U/l129 U/l130 U/l131 U/l132 U/l
133 U/l134 U/l135 U/l136 U/l137 U/l138 U/l139 U/l140 U/l
141 U/l142 U/l143 U/l144 U/l145 U/l146 U/l147 U/l148 U/l
149 U/l150 U/l      
Moderate hyperamylasemia
151 U/l152 U/l153 U/l154 U/l155 U/l156 U/l157 U/l158 U/l
159 U/l160 U/l161 U/l162 U/l163 U/l164 U/l165 U/l166 U/l
167 U/l168 U/l169 U/l170 U/l171 U/l172 U/l173 U/l174 U/l
175 U/l176 U/l177 U/l178 U/l179 U/l180 U/l181 U/l182 U/l
183 U/l184 U/l185 U/l186 U/l187 U/l188 U/l189 U/l190 U/l
191 U/l192 U/l193 U/l194 U/l195 U/l196 U/l197 U/l198 U/l
199 U/l200 U/l      
Marked hyperamylasemia
201 U/l202 U/l203 U/l204 U/l205 U/l206 U/l207 U/l208 U/l
209 U/l210 U/l211 U/l212 U/l213 U/l214 U/l215 U/l216 U/l
217 U/l218 U/l219 U/l220 U/l221 U/l222 U/l223 U/l224 U/l
225 U/l226 U/l227 U/l228 U/l229 U/l230 U/l231 U/l232 U/l
233 U/l234 U/l235 U/l236 U/l237 U/l238 U/l239 U/l240 U/l
241 U/l242 U/l243 U/l244 U/l245 U/l246 U/l247 U/l248 U/l
249 U/l250 U/l251 U/l252 U/l253 U/l254 U/l255 U/l256 U/l
257 U/l258 U/l259 U/l260 U/l261 U/l262 U/l263 U/l264 U/l
265 U/l266 U/l267 U/l268 U/l269 U/l270 U/l271 U/l272 U/l
273 U/l274 U/l275 U/l276 U/l277 U/l278 U/l279 U/l280 U/l
281 U/l282 U/l283 U/l284 U/l285 U/l286 U/l287 U/l288 U/l
289 U/l290 U/l291 U/l292 U/l293 U/l294 U/l295 U/l296 U/l
297 U/l298 U/l299 U/l300 U/l301 U/l302 U/l303 U/l304 U/l
305 U/l306 U/l307 U/l308 U/l309 U/l310 U/l311 U/l312 U/l
313 U/l314 U/l315 U/l316 U/l317 U/l318 U/l319 U/l320 U/l
321 U/l322 U/l323 U/l324 U/l325 U/l326 U/l327 U/l328 U/l
329 U/l330 U/l331 U/l332 U/l333 U/l334 U/l335 U/l336 U/l
337 U/l338 U/l339 U/l340 U/l341 U/l342 U/l343 U/l344 U/l
345 U/l346 U/l347 U/l348 U/l349 U/l350 U/l351 U/l352 U/l
353 U/l354 U/l355 U/l356 U/l357 U/l358 U/l359 U/l360 U/l
361 U/l362 U/l363 U/l364 U/l365 U/l366 U/l367 U/l368 U/l
369 U/l370 U/l371 U/l372 U/l373 U/l374 U/l375 U/l376 U/l
377 U/l378 U/l379 U/l380 U/l381 U/l382 U/l383 U/l384 U/l
385 U/l386 U/l387 U/l388 U/l389 U/l390 U/l391 U/l392 U/l
393 U/l394 U/l395 U/l396 U/l397 U/l398 U/l399 U/l400 U/l
401 U/l402 U/l403 U/l404 U/l405 U/l406 U/l407 U/l408 U/l
409 U/l410 U/l411 U/l412 U/l413 U/l414 U/l415 U/l416 U/l
417 U/l418 U/l419 U/l420 U/l421 U/l422 U/l423 U/l424 U/l
425 U/l426 U/l427 U/l428 U/l429 U/l430 U/l431 U/l432 U/l
433 U/l434 U/l435 U/l436 U/l437 U/l438 U/l439 U/l440 U/l
441 U/l442 U/l443 U/l444 U/l445 U/l446 U/l447 U/l448 U/l
449 U/l450 U/l451 U/l452 U/l453 U/l454 U/l455 U/l456 U/l
457 U/l458 U/l459 U/l460 U/l461 U/l462 U/l463 U/l464 U/l
465 U/l466 U/l467 U/l468 U/l469 U/l470 U/l471 U/l472 U/l
473 U/l474 U/l475 U/l476 U/l477 U/l478 U/l479 U/l480 U/l
481 U/l482 U/l483 U/l484 U/l485 U/l486 U/l487 U/l488 U/l
489 U/l490 U/l491 U/l492 U/l493 U/l494 U/l495 U/l496 U/l
497 U/l498 U/l499 U/l500 U/l    
Severe hyperamylasemia
501 U/l502 U/l503 U/l504 U/l505 U/l506 U/l507 U/l508 U/l
509 U/l510 U/l511 U/l512 U/l513 U/l514 U/l515 U/l516 U/l
517 U/l518 U/l519 U/l520 U/l521 U/l522 U/l523 U/l524 U/l
525 U/l526 U/l527 U/l528 U/l529 U/l530 U/l531 U/l532 U/l
533 U/l534 U/l535 U/l536 U/l537 U/l538 U/l539 U/l540 U/l
541 U/l542 U/l543 U/l544 U/l545 U/l546 U/l547 U/l548 U/l
549 U/l550 U/l551 U/l552 U/l553 U/l554 U/l555 U/l556 U/l
557 U/l558 U/l559 U/l560 U/l561 U/l562 U/l563 U/l564 U/l
565 U/l566 U/l567 U/l568 U/l569 U/l570 U/l571 U/l572 U/l
573 U/l574 U/l575 U/l576 U/l577 U/l578 U/l579 U/l580 U/l
581 U/l582 U/l583 U/l584 U/l585 U/l586 U/l587 U/l588 U/l
589 U/l590 U/l591 U/l592 U/l593 U/l594 U/l595 U/l596 U/l
597 U/l598 U/l599 U/l600 U/l601 U/l602 U/l603 U/l604 U/l
605 U/l606 U/l607 U/l608 U/l609 U/l610 U/l611 U/l612 U/l
613 U/l614 U/l615 U/l616 U/l617 U/l618 U/l619 U/l620 U/l
621 U/l622 U/l623 U/l624 U/l625 U/l626 U/l627 U/l628 U/l
foto de Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante
Written by

Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante

Last update: 27/03/2020


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