Aldolase Blood Test: Elevated & Low Levels

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson is going to go over something known as aldolase. You'll learn what it is, where it's found, how it's tested for, and why it's tested in a clinical setting.

Aldolase

If you've ever studied any biology, you will have certainly come across the general concept that our body breaks down sugars in order to derive itself some good old energy. Well, one of the enzymes that is partially responsible for this process is known as aldolase.

There are different kinds of aldolase to consider:

  • Aldolase A is found mainly in muscles, red blood cells, and the brain.
  • Aldolase B is found in the liver, kidneys, and red blood cells.
  • Aldolase C is found in the brain.

Let's learn more about how this enzyme is related to a blood test in this lesson.

The Blood Test

An aldolase blood test may be conducted in order to measure the amount of aldolase in a person's blood. Why? Well, when a tissue or organ that contains aldolase is damaged, it will release aldolase into the bloodstream. By measuring the levels of aldolase in a person's blood, a physician may be able to better diagnose a disease that causes such damage.

However, this test isn't used relatively all that often as better tests have superseded it and, when it is used, the aldolase blood test is mainly used as a marker for muscle damage and, sometimes, liver damage. It's also non-specific. In other words, as per the prior section, you can see that aldolase can be released when plenty of other things, besides the liver or muscles, are damaged. That means it alone cannot be used to diagnose a condition. It is simply used as an additional indicator that tells the doctor that, yes, the diagnosis is on the right track or has been confirmed by yet another test.

Before a person's blood is drawn, the person may be asked to avoid drinking or eating anything for 6-8 hours before the blood is taken. It may be necessary for some people to stop taking their medication as well but no one should ever do this without direct instruction from their doctor! Medications that may falsely elevate this test include itraconazole. Probucol may falsely decrease this test.

Additionally, exercise might affect this test so a person may be asked to stop exercising for a few days before the test. That's because exercise can lead to falsely elevated levels of aldolase in a person's blood.

The sample that is collected should contain about 3.0 mL of blood (no less than 0.2 mL) and should be placed into a red-top tube (plain, no gel). The sample should be frozen and sent off to a lab for processing.

The sample should be placed in a red-top tube.
The sample should be placed in a red-top tube.

High and Low Levels

The normal reference range for the aldolase blood test is 1.0-7.5 units per liter. These numbers are not set in stone, as the normal values might vary depending on age, gender, height, weight, muscle mass, and the exact lab method used to analyze the aldolase in a person's blood.

Elevations beyond the normal value of aldolase may indicate any of the following:

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