A clinical diagnosis of pancreatic disease is often difficult to make. Relatively simple laboratory procedures that may be of help are consequently worth careful consideration, and it is for this reason that this survey is being reported.
Corbett1 as long ago as 1913 directed attention to high urinary amylase levels in diseases of the pancreas. All cases of malignant or inflammatory pancreatic disease in his study revealed high values. In 1935 Foged2 reported 16,000 determinations on 4,000 patients. Seventy cases of acute pancreatitis were included, and all demonstrated an increase in urinary amylase levels within two days of the acute attack. Saxon 3 in 1957 and Budd4 in 1958 correlated serum and urinary amylase levels in patients with pancreatic disease. These authors concluded that the urinary amylase test reflected activity of pancreatic disease better than did the serum amylase test. It was because of such recorded observations
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