What the heck is LDH?


Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme that helps produce energy in the body.

Other names:

Lactic Dehydrogenase, Lactate Dehydrogenase


Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme that helps the process of turning sugar into energy for your cells to use. LDH is present in many kinds of organs and tissues throughout the body, including the liver, heart, pancreas, kidneys, skeletal muscles, brain, and blood cells.

When illness or injury damages your cells, LDH may be released into the bloodstream, causing the level of LDH in your blood to rise.

LDH Blood Test:

The LDH test is usually used to check for tissue damage. The damage may be acute (from a traumatic injury for example) or chronic (due to a long-term condition such as liver disease). The LDH test can also be used to monitor progressive conditions, such as muscular dystrophy.

Normal Range:

The normal range for LDH is 135 to 214 IU/L for adults.

LDH Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) Normal range high low

What high results mean:

High levels of LDH in the blood point to acute or chronic cell damage, but additional tests are necessary to discover its cause.

Because LDH is present in so many types of cells, high levels of LDH may indicate a number of conditions.

Elevated levels of LDH isoenzymes may indicate:

– blood flow deficiency

– cerebrovascular accident, such as a stroke

– certain cancers

– heart attack

– hemolytic anemia

– infectious mononucleosis

– liver disease, such as hepatitis

– low blood pressure

– muscle injury

– muscular dystrophy

– pancreatitis

– tissue death

– use of alcohol or certain drugs

What low levels mean:

Abnormally low LDH levels occur only rarely and usually aren’t harmful.

For the official biomarker page of LDH, please go here:

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