Ammonia Plasma Test
The Ammonia Plasma Test measures ammonia levels in the blood to screen for hyperammonemia.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Ammonia Plasma Test, which measures ammonia levels in the blood to screen for hyperammonemia. The body produces ammonia as a chemical byproduct during digestion and other processes. Usually, the liver and kidneys remove ammonia from the body. However, if there are elevated ammonia levels, also known as hyperammonemia, ammonia testing is typically ordered to diagnose and monitor the condition. In adults, liver damage often causes poor liver function, leading to high ammonia levels.
The liver processes most of the ammonia produced by the body and converts it into a waste product called urea. The kidneys then remove urea from the body through urine. This process is part of the urea cycle, which prevents ammonia buildup in the blood. If too much ammonia is present in the blood, it can circulate throughout the body and reach the brain. Ammonia is highly toxic to the brain, and untreated hyperammonemia can be life-threatening and cause long-lasting effects on brain function.
When should I order an Ammonia Plasma Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to hyperammonemia. Common signs or symptoms of this condition include:
- Uncontrolled muscle movements
- Mood swings
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