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.



Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) - Elevations in serum lactate dehydrogenase occur from myocardial infarction, liver disease, pernicious and megaloblastic anemia, pulmonary emboli, malignancies, and muscular dystrophy. Since lactic dehydrogenase is present in many body tissues, its diagnostic usefulness is limited. Tissue specificity may be enhanced by LDH isoenzyme analysis.

Understanding the Basics of Lactate Dehydrogenase and the LDH Blood Test

You probably don't hear about lactate dehydrogenase every day, but this is a key substance in your body. It is present in many body tissues and it can help doctors diagnose certain dangerous health problems. For example, elevated levels of LD are usually associated with myocardial infarction and liver disease, among other ailments.

You might also be happy to find out that testing your lactate dehydrogenase levels is easy and inexpensive. You just need to draw a blood sample and receive the results in a few business days. Keep reading to learn more about LD and why it's important to test for it.

What Is Lactate Dehydrogenase?

As mentioned earlier, LD is present in most body tissues such as the heart, liver, muscles, and so on. It's an enzyme that your body makes as a result of turning sugar into energy. High levels of this substance can be caused by certain health problems or injuries.

There are also several types of LD present in your body. If you do an LD test and your doctor discovers that you have high levels of this substance, more tests might be required to determine which type is in excess.

For example, LDH 1 and LDH 2 are present in red blood cells and your heart. If you have high levels of this substance in your body, your doctor will know that your heart or red blood cells might be at risk.

LDH 3 is mostly found in the lungs, pancreas, and lymph tissue. As a rule of thumb, all LD types are present throughout your entire body, but some of them are found in high concentrations in specific organs. If your LDH 3 is high, your pancreas or lungs might be the culprit and you need to focus on these organs to find out more details about your health.

Finally, LDH 4 and LDH 5 are mostly present in the skeletal muscle and liver. If you have high levels of LDH 5 in your body, you might have acute inflammation in your liver or muscles. Your doctor now knows that you need more liver and muscle tests to come up with the right diagnosis.

These 5 types of lactate dehydrogenase are called LD isoenzymes. You will first do a standard LD test also known as lactate dehydrogenase total test. Based on the results, your doctor might recommend additional tests to determine what tissues or organs in your body are inflamed or not functioning properly.

What Are Normal Levels of the LDH Blood Test?

Lactate dehydrogenase is expressed as units per liter of blood. For example, normal levels are between 140 units per liter and 280 units per liter. Low levels of lactate dehydrogenase are rare and usually, they don't cause symptoms. They are not a cause of concern either.

On the other hand, LD levels higher than 300 units per liter can be seen as a warning sign. It means that something is not ok in your body, either because of injury or caused by an illness. If you do a lactate dehydrogenase total test, you will see exactly whether your numbers are a cause of concern or not.

What Are the Complications of High LD?

A high LD level should worry you because this substance is present in so many body tissues and organs. Too much lactate dehydrogenase is usually associated with myocardial infarction and other serious health problems. Let's take a look at just a few of these complications.

  • Certain cancers - high levels of LD have been found in people with cancer. The type of cancer is usually dictated by the tissue that contains a high concentration of lactate dehydrogenase such as pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, etc
  • Muscular dystrophy - this is a serious condition in which muscle tissue wastes away. Left untreated, it can affect the quality of your life and reduced mobility
  • Heart attack - if you have a high level of LDH 1 and/or LDH 2, you are at risk for certain types of heart problems including coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke.
  • Liver disease - since LDH 4 and LDH 5 are mostly present in the liver tissue, high levels of this substance could indicate liver problems.
  • Abnormal blood flow - too much lactate dehydrogenase can also be caused by a deficiency or abnormality in blood flow. This can be an issue leading to anemia, high blood pressure, and other complications

How to Test Your LD Levels?

Lactate dehydrogenase is present throughout your body, so you can test its levels in various ways. The most common type of test is a blood test. If your doctor thinks it's necessary, you can also do further testing of urine and even spinal fluid.

Testing your lactate dehydrogenase total levels using a blood sample is the most inexpensive, quickest, and most convenient way. You just order the test online, go to a clinic near you to draw a blood sample, and wait for the results.

These results are emailed to you in just a few business days and you can compare them against standard reference values. For further assistance, you can ask your doctor to guide you through this process.

Order the LDH Total Test Today!

Testing for lactate dehydrogenase should be up there with checking your blood sugar or blood pressure levels. Remember that this substance is present everywhere in your body, so it will show an early warning sign that could help you avoid a chronic and potentially life-threatening disease.





  1. Go to the "Find a Location" page to find the closest lab location. No need to make an appointment since walk-ins are welcomed. Once you have identified your closest location, go to step 2.

  2. Go to "Choose a Test" and add your selection (s) in the shopping cart. If you prefer to save money on bundled tests, we have created "Lab Test Panels" that can help you decide what to order.

  3. If you have a discount coupon code, add it to your cart.

  4. A $8 lab processing fee will be added to your total.

  5. Pay using a credit card.

  6. You will receive an order confirmation and instructions email on how to download your lab request.

  7. Print lab request form that you downloaded.

  8. Take that form to the closest location. Get your blood drawn.

  9. You will receive an email when the results are ready for you to download.

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