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Alternative NamesLDH test; Lactic acid dehydrogenase test
Definition Return to top
The lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) test measures the amount of LDH in the blood.
See also: LDH isoenzymes
How the Test is Performed Return to top
The health care provider will take blood from a vein or from your heel, finger, toe, or earlobe.
The blood sample is sent to a laboratory, where it is placed in a machine called a centrifuge. The machine quickly spins the blood, which causes the liquid part (the serum) to separate from the cells. The LDH measurement is done on the serum.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
Your health care provider may ask you to stop taking drugs that may affect the test. Drugs that can increase LDH measurements include anesthetics, aspirin, clofibrate, fluorides, mithramycin, narcotics, and procainamide.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
LDH is most often measured to check for tissue damage. The enzyme LDH is in many body tissues, especially the heart, liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, brain, blood cells, and lungs.
Other conditions under which the test may be done:
Normal Results Return to top
A typical range is 105 - 333 IU/L (international units per liter).
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Higher-than-normal levels may indicate:
If the LDH level is raised, your doctor may order an LDH isoenzymes test.
References Return to top
Abraham N, Carty R, DuFour D, Pincus M. Clinical enzymology. In: McPherson R, Pincus M, eds. Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006:chap 20.
Schwartz R. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 164.Update Date: 2/13/2009 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.