LDH Blood Test


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The LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) blood test measures the level of LDH in your blood. LDH is an enzyme in many body organs and tissues, including the heart, liver, muscles, and red blood cells. The LDH test is often used to help diagnose and monitor various medical conditions, such as anemia, heart attack, and liver disease. It may also be ordered to check for tissue damage or monitor treatment effectiveness for specific conditions. Since lactic dehydrogenase is present in many body tissues, its diagnostic usefulness is limited. Tissue specificity may be enhanced by LDH isoenzyme analysis.



Understanding Lactate Dehydrogenase: The LDH Blood Test

The LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) blood test measures the amount of LDH in your blood. LDH is an enzyme in many body organs and tissues, such as the heart, liver, muscles, red blood cells, and different tissues. This test is often used to help diagnose and monitor various medical conditions, such as anemia, heart attack, liver disease, and tissue damage. It may also be ordered to monitor treatment effectiveness for specific conditions. Since lactic dehydrogenase is present in many body tissues, its diagnostic usefulness is limited. Tissue specificity may be enhanced by LDH isoenzyme analysis.

What is the Function of the LDH Blood Test?

Several different types of medical conditions can be identified and monitored with the help of a blood test called LDH. The measurements of lactate dehydrogenase levels can reveal information about the tissue and cell damage that more serious underlying diseases are causing.

A high lactate dehydrogenase level can be detected by a lactate dehydrogenase test; however, the test is unable to identify which organs are being impacted. As a consequence of this, professionals in the medical field routinely seek additional LDH isozyme tests to operate in conjunction with LDH testing in order to assist in the diagnosis of disorders. When a physician suspects that their patient is suffering from an acute or long-term sickness that is causing damage to their patient's tissues, particularly those of the heart, lungs, blood, kidney, and liver, they may frequently ask for an evaluation of the patient's LDH levels. An LDH test of the patient's body fluids, such as cerebrospinal fluid, is another option for determining the reason for fluid accumulation and why it occurred in the first place, including a lumbar puncture or "spinal tap" to collect cerebrospinal fluid that flows around your brain and spinal cord. In cases where myocardial infarction is suspected, an LDH-1 level higher than the LDH-2 level (a "flipped pattern") can suggest damage to heart tissues. However, the use of Troponin I or T measurement is now preferred for diagnosing infarction. High levels of lactate dehydrogenase in cerebrospinal fluid are often associated with bacterial meningitis. In the case of viral meningitis, high LDH, in general, indicates the presence of encephalitis and poor prognosis.

Acute illnesses manifest themselves suddenly and frequently with severe symptoms. These symptoms may point to the presence of an infection, organ failure, or an adverse reaction to a medication. Anemia, hepatitis, and liver disease are examples of chronic conditions that tend to worsen gradually over time and call for periodic testing to monitor the condition's progression. Chronic conditions can be monitored through regular monitoring. Since LDH is a nonspecific marker of cell damage, there are a variety of circumstances in which its utilization could be warranted; nonetheless, the job that it does in combination with cancer treatment, such as testicular cancer, is generally regarded as the most important of these. Testing for lactate dehydrogenase can be performed on individuals who have chronic conditions such as anemia, hepatitis, and liver disease, in order to determine the severity of the patient's condition and/or the patient's prognosis. Testing for LDH can also be used to monitor how well chemotherapy therapies are working in the patient's body and to detect the presence of various diseases. Many clinical trials and translational data have demonstrated that targeting LDHA genes or its protein product LDH-5 may be harnessed as a metabolic treatment of cancer.

How Should I Interpret My Results Now That I've Completed the Lactate Dehydrogenase Test?

A small blood sample is collected in a sterile environment in order to perform an LDH test. The environment is designed to ensure patient safety. Getting ready for this blood test normally does not require any special measures to be taken. Following the completion of the examination, the patient ought to have access to the results within a few business days at the very latest. The LDH levels, which can indicate various conditions such as hemolytic anemia, infections, muscle injury, stroke, some cancers, heart attack, liver disease, muscular dystrophy, or pancreatitis, should be included in the test report, together with reference ranges that indicate what levels of LDH are often considered to be within a healthy range. Due to the fact that reference ranges might vary from one laboratory to another, it is critical for a healthcare provider to go over test results with their patient. When interpreting elevated levels of lactate dehydrogenase, it is necessary to take into consideration the patient's medical history, symptoms, and results from tests that were conducted in conjunction with an LDH panel. This is necessary because lactate dehydrogenase testing is not a specific diagnostic tool. An increased LDH level may indicate a number of different medical disorders, such as shock, hepatitis, medication responses, infection, anemia, muscular dystrophy, or even malignancy. Health problems that may cause elevated LDH in the blood include shock, hepatitis, medication responses, infection, anemia, muscular dystrophy, or even malignancy. An increased LDH concentration in the blood does not, by itself, offer cause for concern; nevertheless, more investigation is indicated if the high levels appear in conjunction with symptoms of other disorders. Monitoring LDH levels has been shown to be an effective method for determining the course and severity of cancer. A "high tumor burden," which refers to the existence of a greater number of cancer cells in the body, may be indicated by levels of LDH that are significantly raised to an extremely high

How Accurate is the Result of My LDH Blood Test?

LDH testing is a widely used diagnostic tool with numerous benefits and there is very little risk associated with it. However, it does have certain limitations. The presence of high LDH levels does not always indicate a medical condition that requires treatment. In fact, high LDH levels can be caused by factors such as intense exercise or certain medications, like aspirin. Additionally, a high LDH level can also be a result of red blood cells breaking open during the collection and testing of the sample. Therefore, it is important to consider the patient's overall medical history and symptoms when interpreting LDH test results. Retesting and additional testing may be necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis. By doing so, healthcare professionals can determine if the elevated LDH is simply due to superficial tissue injury or if there is a more serious underlying condition. It is worth noting that low LDH levels may also be caused by a rare genetic disorder called lactate dehydrogenase deficiency or by taking large amounts of vitamin C or vitamin E.

Want a More Detailed LDH Test?

Lactate dehydrogenase (LD) is an enzyme that is found in almost all of the body's cells, but only a small amount of it is usually detectable in the blood. LD is released from the cells into the bloodstream when cells are damaged or destroyed. Because of this, the LD test can be used as a general marker of injury to cells. Although there is some overlap, each of the five LD isoenzymes tends to be concentrated in specific body tissues. The LDH Isoenzymes panel provides 5 types of isoenzymes to detect if LD is coming from the heart, red blood cells, kidneys, lungs, white blood cells, lymph nodes, muscle, or liver.




  1. Claps, G., Faouzi, S., Quidville, V., Chehade, F., Shen, S., Vagner, S., & Robert, C. (2022). The multiple roles of LDH in cancer. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, 1-141
  2. Drent, M., Cobben, N. A., Henderson, R. F., Wouters, E. F., & van Dieijen-Visser, M. (1996). Usefulness of lactate dehydrogenase and its isoenzymes as indicators of lung damage or inflammation. European Respiratory Journal, 9(8), 1736-17422
  3. Forkasiewicz, A., Dorociak, M., Stach, K., Szelachowski, P., Tabola, R., & Augoff, K. (2020). The usefulness of lactate dehydrogenase measurements in current oncological practice. Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters, 25(1), 1-143
  4. Henry, B. M., Aggarwal, G., Wong, J., Benoit, S., Vikse, J., Plebani, M., & Lippi, G. (2020). Lactate dehydrogenase levels predict coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity and mortality: A pooled analysis. The American journal of emergency medicine, 38(9), 1722-17264
  5. Inamura, N., Miyashita, N., Hasegawa, S., Kato, A., Fukuda, Y., Saitoh, A., … & Ouchi, K. (2014). Management of refractory Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia: utility of measuring serum lactate dehydrogenase level. Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy, 20(4), 270-2735
  6. Jurisic, V., Radenkovic, S., & Konjevic, G. (2015). The actual role of LDH as tumor marker, biochemical and clinical aspects. Advances in Cancer Biomarkers, 115-1246



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