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Also known as: LDH; lactate dehydrogenase; total LD; total LDH; LD isoenzymes; LDH isoenzymes
Formal name: Lactate dehydrogenase

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To help identify tissue damage in the body, and to monitor its progress.

When to Get Tested?

Along with other tests, when your doctor suspects that you have an acute or chronic condition that is causing tissue or cellular destruction and they want to identify and monitor the problem.

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed?


The Test Sample

What is being tested?

Lactate dehydrogenase (LD) is an enzyme that is found in cells throughout the body.

Only a small amount of LD is usually detectable in the blood. However, when cells are damaged or destroyed, they release LD into the bloodstream, causing blood levels to rise. For this reason, LD is used as a general marker of injury to cells. This also happens when blood cells are destroyed in the bloodstream, such as in a form of anaemia known as haemolytic anaemia.

In the past, special tests were done to work out what type of tissue the LD was released from. These tests, known as `LD isoenzymes’ are not done routinely any more because there are better tests available.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.

Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?

No test preparation is needed.

The Test

Common Questions

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.