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LDH

About the test
What is this test done for?
LDH stands for lactate dehydrogenase, which is a blood test that measures the amount of LDH levels in the blood. LDH is an enzyme that is released by almost every cell in the body, when it is damaged or destroyed.
Why is it Done?

This is a routine blood test that checks for the amount of LDH released in the blood from almost all the cells of the body. This happens in response to the damage or destruction happening to cells of the body.

The test is used

  • As general indicator of existing acute or chronic tissue damage
  • To detect and monitor the progress of diseases like anemia or infections
  • To determine prognosis and/or monitor the treatment of cancers (chemotherapy) like germ cell tumors, lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma or neuroblastoma

The test is also performed on body fluids such as cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) to evaluate and distinguish between bacterial and viral meningitis. It is also performed on pleural, peritoneal or pericardial fluid to determine the cause of the accumulation, which is due to injury and inflammation or due to imbalance of pressure within the blood vessel.

When should it be performed?

This test is performed

  • If a patient presents with symptoms of anemia
    • Easy fatigability
    • Malaise or uneasy feeling
    • Shortness of breath
    • Headache and light headedness
    • Difficulty in concentrating
    • Dizziness
    • Pale skin
    • Cramps in legs
    • Insomnia
  • As a routine test along with SMA 12+2 or comprehensive panel to assess the cause and degree of tissue or cellular damage
  • As a routine test in patients who have been diagnosed to have cancer, to monitor the response to the treatment for cancer

Body fluid test of LDH is performed when fluid is collected around the heart or lungs or abdomen or even brain; it helps in identifying the cause of the disease.

How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. No special precautions like fasting required.
Results

The test result is normal, if levels are 105 – 333 IU/L. It means

  • No damage to cells or tissue
  • Normal functioning of the body
  • Good response to the therapy for cancer

The test results are high, if levels are above 350 IU/L. It means

  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Infections (like meningitis, encephalitis, mononucleosis etc)
  • Sepsis
  • Acute kidney disease
  • Acute liver disease
  • Acute muscle injury
  • Intestinal or lung infarction
  • Pancreatitis
  • Fracture
  • Germ cell cancer or lymphoma
  • Poor response to chemotherapy

Low blood levels of LDH are rarely seen and it doesn’t indicate anything, it means normal functioning of the body.

High levels of LDH in body fluids indicate

  • In case of CSF, bacterial infection
  • Pericardial, peritoneal or pleural fluid it means infection or inflammation
Other Tests
  • SMA 12+2 or comprehensive metabolic panel
    • It is a routine blood test carried out to evaluate functions of different organs of the body
    • Altered results of any of the enzyme or parameter, indicate affection of that organ for example high levels of AST/ALT indicate problem with liver similarly high levels of creatinine indicate kidney problem
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