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Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test

Last updated March 14, 2018

The Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test helps compare the amount of creatinine in the bloodstream to that in the urine, and does the same for amylase. It is used to detect pancreatic, muscle, and kidney disorders.


What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • ALCR Urine Test

What is Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test? (Background Information)

  • Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down glycogen and starch into the simple sugar glucose. Creatinine is formed when a high-energy compound, called creatine, is used by the muscles to fuel their contraction
  • Amylase is made in the salivary glands and pancreas. It is released in the saliva and helps digest complex sugars in the mouth during chewing. Pancreatic amylase, a more powerful version, is released in the small intestine
  • Creatinine is the end-product of creatine metabolism. After creatine is expended, the creatinine that is produced travels through blood and exits through the kidneys
  • The rate of creatinine formation depends on an individual’s muscle mass. Aside from this, creatinine formation rate is fairly constant during normal conditions. This makes it a useful indicator for muscle and kidney disorders
  • Creatinine levels usually decrease with age, because of age-dependent decreases in muscle mass. Damage to muscles resulting from injury or degenerative diseases causes the release of creatinine in blood. This leads to a spike in the normally constant blood creatinine levels
  • Any damage to the pancreas may lead to the release of amylase through urine
  • The Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test helps compare the amount of creatinine in the bloodstream to that in the urine, and does the same for amylase. It is used to detect pancreatic, muscle, and kidney disorders.
  • The ratio is calculated using the following formula: (Urine amylase/Serum amylase) X (Serum creatinine/Urine creatinine) X 100

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing the Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test:

  • Determining the extent of kidney damage, especially prior to administering nephrotoxic drugs
  • Monitoring the progress of kidney disease and the effectiveness of treatment
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle weakening
  • Fatigue
  • Recent trauma
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Tingling and numbing in the extremities
  • Obesity
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • History of degenerative muscle disease

How is the Specimen Collected for Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test:

Sample required: Blood and urine

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Process of obtaining a urine sample in adults: Urination into a sterile container over a 24-hour period.

Preparation required:

  • No special preparation is needed prior to the blood test
  • Drinking 6-8 glasses of water or other fluids is advised prior to the urine test

What is the Significance of the Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test Result?

The significance of the Amylase/Creatinine Clearance Ratio Blood and Urine Test result is explained:

  • A high test value may indicate:
    • Pancreatitis
    • Diabetic ketoacidosis
    • Renal insufficiency
    • Duodenal perforation
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Myeloma
    • Light chain disease
    • Urinary obstruction
    • Kidney disease, including acute and chronic kidney failure
    • Acromegaly
  • A low test value may indicate:
    • Anemia
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Severe liver disease
    • Macroamylasemia

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Certain factors influence the results of this test. These include hydration status, age, pregnancy, body size and composition, and diet

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Oct. 31, 2015
Last updated: March 14, 2018