anaesthetist is about to induce a 68 year old male for an elective total knee
replacement when he notices that on the blood tests done in the morning of the
operation all are normal apart from a serum amylase of 570U/L (0-100).
There is no
history of abdominal pain. The serum amylase was requested inadvertently by a
new junior doctor.
biochemistry results are normal with normal urea and electrolytes but a high
amylase has been noted previously but the patient had not had abdominal pain
at that time either.
refuses to induce the patient and requests an urgent abdominal ultrasound scan
which is normal.
What is the
likely cause of the high amylase in this patient?
Contamination of the blood sample