Inhibition of serum and urine amylase activity in pancreatitis with hyperlipemia

Ann Surg. 1975 Jul;182(1):72-5. doi: 10.1097/00000658-197507000-00014.


In 6 of 7 patients with acute pancreatitis and hyperlipemia, inhibition of serum amylase activity was detected by dilution of the serum before assaying for amylase and by correcting for tthe dilution factor. In 4 patients the inhibition phenomenon disappeared within the first few days of hospitalization as the elevated serum triglycerides fell. However, in 2 others there was no relation between triglyceride level and amylase inhibition. Removal of the excess serum lipids by ultracentrifugation did not eliminate the inhibition of amylase activity. Inhibition of amylase activity also occurred in the urine of these patients. No amylase inhibition was demonstrable in lipemic serum from patients without pancreatitis or in pancreatitis serum to which excess lipids were added. The data suggest the presence of a circulating inhibitor of amylase, distinct from the elevated serum lipids, in the serum and urine of patients with acute pancreatitis associated with hyperlipemia. The diagnosis of acute pancreatitis in the patient with abdominal pain and lactescent serum can be facilitated by correcting the serum amylase activity by dilution.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Amylases / blood
  • Amylases / metabolism*
  • Amylases / urine
  • Depression, Chemical
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hyperlipidemias / enzymology*
  • Pancreatitis / complications
  • Pancreatitis / enzymology*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Triglycerides
  • Amylases