Serum amylase and its isoenzymes in normal weight bulimia

Harry E. Gwirtsman, Joel Yager, Baiba K. Gillard, Linda Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Bulimia is a relatively common eating disorder with many serious medical complications. In 11 normal weight patients with bulimia, serum amylase isoenzymes were elevated above control values. Both P(pancreatic origin) and S(salivary gland origin) isoenzymes were elevated to approximately equal degrees. These elevations correlated with the time elapsed since the previous meal but did not correlate with any measures of severity of bulimic behavior or clinical estimations of parotid gland enlargement. Saliva amylase was not different form controls. When serum from these patients was sent to the routine clinical chemistry laboratory, total amylase values were reported to be elevated in two patients and near the top of the normal range in an additional patient. Bulimic behavior must be added to the list of conditions that are associated with mild elevations in serum amylase. Serum amylase determination may be useful to clinicians in confirming the diagnosis of bulimia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-361
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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