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March 12, 1955


JAMA. 1955;157(11):908-909. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950280032010b

Since it is generally accepted that surgical intervention is a hazardous procedure during an attack of acute pancreatitis, a simple rapid serum amylase test should be of great clinical value. A high serum amylase differentiates this condition from other acute upper abdominal diseases that may require emergency surgical treatment and determines decisively the course of therapy. The Somogyi method for serum amylase, used in most institutions, is relatively simple and needs no more laboratory facilities than are required for a blood sugar determination; however, in many hospitals the services of an experienced technician to do this test are not conveniently available at night, during weekends, or on holidays. To meet this need, we have developed a new method; this procedure can be performed by any member of the resident staff of a hospital in 10 minutes, with a minimum of clinical apparatus (test tubes; a pipet, to deliver 0.1 ml.,