Reference intervals for amylase isoenzymes in serum and plasma of infants and children

Clin Chem. 1983 Jun;29(6):1119-23.


Measurement of pancreatic (P) and salivary-like (S) amylase isoenzyme activity in serum of adults is useful as an indirect indicator of pancreatic and salivary gland exocrine dysfunction. To extend the use of this assay to the pediatric population, we measured amylase isoenzymes in 546 serum and plasma samples and defined normal reference intervals for the P and S isoenzymes as a function of age in newborns, infants, and children. The mean activity of P isoenzyme in newborns is 3% of that of adults, begins to increase at seven to eight months, and reaches adult values by five years. The mean activity of S isoenzyme in serum is 32% of the adult mean at birth, begins to increase by three to four months, and reaches adult values by 19 months; children five to 12 years old have slightly higher values than adults. These changes with age underscore the importance of the use of age-matched reference intervals when serum amylase isoenzyme activities are measured as diagnostic indicators.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Amylases / blood*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Isoenzymes / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / enzymology
  • Reference Values
  • Saliva / enzymology


  • Isoenzymes
  • Amylases