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Laboratory Medicine

Test Directory / Fluid Amylase

Fluid Amylase

Brown clotted serum, gel barrier or White topped universal (no additives)

TestFluid Amylase
Common AbbreviationsFLAMY
Tube typeBrown clotted serum, gel barrier or White topped universal (no additives)
Clinical IndicationAmylase measurements in ascitic fluid are used to determine whether an effusion originates from the pancreas or another organ. Measurement in pleural or peritoneal fluid can assist in the diagnosis of acute pancreatitis in cases of diagnostic uncertainty, and may have some prognostic value. Post-operative measurements of amylase in drain fluid have been used to detect the development of pancreatic fistulae, but remain controversial as amylase can be a normal finding in drain fluid following pancreatic surgery.
Specimen TypeFluid
Sample typeFluid
Minimum Volume1 mL
Special PrecautionsPlease visually inspect samples before sending for analysis and indicate the site of collection. Samples which are very turbid or thick may be rejected as there is a risk of damage to laboratory equipment
Stability7 days at room temperature and up to one month at 2-8oC
Turnaround TimeInpatient: 6 hours Outpatient/ GP: 24 hours
LaboratoryYork and Scarborough
Reference IntervalNo specific reference ranges are avaiable for fluid samples. Interpret results in light of serum amylase levels and clinical context. Generally, amylase levels above the upper limit of the normal serum range (101 IU/L) are taken to indicate an effusion of pancreatic origin.
LimitationsGross haemolysis may give erroneous results. Laboratory methods are NOT CE-marked or validated for analysis of fluids, and no specific quality control materials are available. ALL results must be interpreted with caution.
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