Aldolase blood test

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Definition

Aldolase is a protein (called an enzyme) that helps break down certain sugars to produce energy. It is found in high amount in muscle tissue.

A test can be done to measure the amount of aldolase in your blood.

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

You may be told not to eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the test. Your health care provider will tell you if it is necessary to stop taking any medicines that may interfere with this test. Tell your provider about all the medicines you are taking, both prescription and nonprescription.

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or slight bruising. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

This test is done to diagnose or monitor muscle or liver damage.

Other tests that may be ordered to check for liver damage include:

Other tests that may be ordered to check for muscle cell damage include:

Normal Results

Normal results range between 1.0 to 7.5 units per liter. There is a slight difference between men and women.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

A higher than normal level may be due to:

Risks

Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

References

Berridge BR, Van Vleet JF, Herman E. Cardiac, vascular, and skeletal muscle systems. In: Haschek WM, Rousseaux CG, Wallig MA, eds. Haschek and Rousseaux's Handbook of Toxicologic Pathology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2013:chap 46.

Greenberg SA. Inflammatory myopathies. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 269.

Vleugels RA, Callen JP. Dermatomyositis. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 57.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/18/2015
  • Gordon A. Starkebaum, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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