Lactic Acid Dehydrogenase (LD) Blood Test
A lactate dehydrogenase (LD or LDH) test is a non-specific test that may be used in the evaluation of a number of diseases and conditions. LD is an enzyme that is found in almost all of the body's cells (as well as in bacteria) and is released from cells into the fluid portion of blood (serum or plasma) when cells are damaged or destroyed. Thus, the blood level of LD is a general indicator of tissue and cellular damage. Conditions which can result sin elevated LDH levels include anemia, meningitis, mononucleosis, HIV, sepsis, liver disease, kidney disease, muscle injury, broken bones and some types of cancers. It is used to assess an acute heart attack or chronic inflammatory conditions of kidney or liver.
If LD is elevated, then more specific tests, such as ALT, AST or ALP, may help diagnose the condition and help determine which organs are involved. Once the acute or chronic problem is diagnosed, total LD levels may be ordered at regular intervals to monitor its progress and/or resolution.
LD levels may also occasionally be ordered when an individual has experienced muscle trauma or injury or when a person has signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia.
LD testing may be ordered on a regular basis when an individual has been diagnosed with cancer.
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