Clinical Notes
June 1, 1964

Urinary Amylase vs Serum Amylase in Patients With Pancreatic Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn

Dr. Gambill is in the Section of Medicine and Dr. Mason in the Section of Biochemistry of the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation.

JAMA. 1964;188(9):824-826. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060350050017

IN A RECENT publication we presented data indicating that in the presence of pancreatitis the one-hour value for urinary amylase exceeded normal more often, in a larger number of patients, and frequently for a longer period of time, than did the values for serum amylase and serum lipase.1 The encouraging results of those observations and of those made previously by Saxon and co-workers2 led us to study the relative abnormality of the results obtained with these tests for these enzymes in pancreatic carcinoma.

Material and Method  The data on tests for serum amylase and lipase and urinary amylase were obtained from the records of 192 patients with pancreatic carcinoma proved by surgical exploration. Review of the case records included a search for evidence of concomitant or ancient pancreatitis as well as pancreatic carcinoma.The urinary excretion of amylase was measured by a modification of the method of Huggins

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