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January 9, 1967

Serum Amylase and Lipase: Newer Perspectives

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine and pathology, University of California, California College of Medicine, and Los Angeles County General Hospital (Unit II), Los Angeles.

JAMA. 1967;199(2):98-102. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120020092016

Despiteir wide use and established value in the diagnosis of pancreatic disease, the levels of amylase and lipase in the serum are not infallible indices of pancreatic involvement.1 This has prompted a search for ways and means of improving the methods of assay and enhancing the specificity of these enzymatic determinations. The information gained from the studies that have been made in these areas has not only contributed greatly to our fundamental understanding, but has also helped broaden the applicability of serum amylase and lipase measurements in clinical practice. It is the intent of this report to present some of the more recent advances in our knowledge of serum amylase and lipase which have clinical bearing. Particular emphasis will be placed on the studies conducted in our laboratories over the past few years.

Serum Amylase Laboratory Methods  Two principal techniques are generally employed to measure amylase activity in the