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Lactic Acid Dehydrogenase (LDH) Test

Test Overview

Lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme that helps produce energy. It is present in almost all of the tissues in the body and its levels rise in response to cell damage. LDH levels are measured from a sample of blood taken from a vein.

Why It Is Done

LDH levels help find the cause of lung disease, lymphoma, anemia, and liver disease. They also help find out how well treatment for lymphoma is working.

How To Prepare

In general, there's nothing you have to do before this test, unless your doctor tells you to.

How It Is done

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

How long the test takes

The test will take a few minutes.

Results

Each lab has a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should show the range that your lab uses for each test. The normal range is just a guide. Your doctor will also look at your results based on your age, health, and other factors. A value that isn't in the normal range may still be normal for you.

Normal LDH levels range from 140 units per liter (U/L) to 280 U/L or 2.34 mkat/L to 4.68 mkat/L.

Many diseases can cause LDH levels to go up. Other tests are usually needed to confirm a diagnosis.

For many healthy people, a slightly high LDH isn't serious. It can happen because of exercise or because of a technical problem with the test.

Credits

Current as of: September 23, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine

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