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Aldolase

Definition

This test measures the amount of the enzyme aldolase in the blood. Aldolase is involved in the breakdown of sugars to generate energy in cells. It is very concentrated in muscle tissue., Because damaged muscles can release aldolase into the bloodstream, a finding of a high aldolase level in the blood can indicate muscle damage.

Who is a candidate for the test?

The aldolase test is most useful in detecting injury or disease in muscle or liver cells.

How is the test performed?

To measure levels of aldolase, a blood sample is taken from a vein in the arm. First, the skin over the vein is cleansed with an antiseptic. A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm to enlarge the veins. A small needle is gently inserted into a vein, and blood is collected for testing in the laboratory. After the tourniquet is removed a cotton ball can be held over the puncture site until bleeding stops.

What is involved in preparation for the test?

A person should request specific instructions from his or her healthcare professional.

What do the test results mean?

Normal values for aldolase are 3-8.2 U/dl (Units per deciliter). Higher levels of aldolase may indicate:
  • damage to skeletal muscles
  • chronic hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver lasting more than 6 months
  • gangrene (tissue death)
  • muscular dystrophy, a disorder causing gradual deterioration of the body's' muscles
  • heart attack
  • polymyositis, an inflammatory disease of the skeletal muscle tissue
  • cancer of the liver, pancreas, or prostate

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