Research Article| Volume 57, ISSUE 2, P230-240, February 1965

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Plasma amidase and amylase activity in patients undergoing operation

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      Plasma arginine amidase activity was measured for 4 consecutive days in normal subjects, in hospitalized patients not undergoing operation, and in patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. Mean amidase activity was distinctly higher in both patient groups than in normal subjects, but there was considerably greater daily variation in enzyme activity of patients in the operative group than in that of normal subjects and the patient group not undergoing operation. Abnormal amidase activity was found in 10 percent of patients in the immediate preoperative period and in 33 percent of patients in the 4 day postoperative period. The type and magnitude of operation did not influence postoperative amidase activity. Plasma amylase was elevated postoperatively less frequently and to a lesser extent than amidase, and there was no correlation in the activities of the 2 enzymes. Data on the substrate specificity and activation behavior of several enzymes possibly responsible for the amidase activity of plasma are presented and suggest that this activity is due to either trypsin or an unidentified enzyme. The significance of the increased activity of this enzyme in the blood of postoperative patients is not known but is possibly a manifestation or reflection of the proteolytic phenomena associated with tissue injury and inflammation.
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