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. High levels of LDH in the blood point to acute or chronic cell damage, but additional tests are necessary to discover its cause. Abnormally low LDH levels occur only rarely and usually aren’t harmful.
Abnormally low LDH levels occur only rarely and usually aren’t harmful.
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
- tissue death
- use of alcohol or certain drugs
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