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Macroamylasemia

Definition

Macroamylasemia is the presence of an abnormal substance called macroamylase in the blood.

Causes

Macroamylase is a substance that consists of an enzyme, called amylase, attached to a protein. Because it is large, macroamylase is filtered very slowly from the blood by the kidneys.

Most people with macroamylasemia do not have a serious disease that is causing it, but the condition has been associated with:

Symptoms

Macroamylasemia does not cause symptoms.

Exams and Tests

A blood test will show high levels of amylase. However, macroamylasemia can look similar to acute pancreatitis, which also causes high levels of amylase in the blood.

Measuring amylase levels in the urine can help tell macroamylasemia apart from acute pancreatitis. Urine levels of amylase are low in people with macroamylasemia, but high in patients with acute pancreatitis.

References

Forsmark CE. Pancreatitis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 146.


Review Date: 2/11/2014
Reviewed By: Todd Eisner, MD, Private practice specializing in Gastroenterology, Boca Raton, FL. Affiliate Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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