Hyperamylasemia Following Methyl Alcohol Intoxication: Source and Significance

John H. Eckfeldt, Marcia J. Kershaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Methyl alcohol intoxication has been reported to cause hyperamylasemia and pancreatitis. We describe a patient with severe, nonfatal methyl alcohol intoxication who had a rise in serum amylase activity with the level peaked on the second hospital day at tenfold the upper limit of normal. However, isoamylase analysis showed that this striking hyperamylasemia was due to salivary-type amylase. Furthermore, the serum lipase activity remained entirely normal during the peak amylase elevation. Thus, in cases of methyl alcohol intoxication, as in other clinical situations, hyperamylasemia, even when striking, should not be equated with pancreatitis. More specific laboratory tests for pancreatitis should be used before embarking on extensive investigations of the pancreas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-194
Number of pages2
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1986


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