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High LDH level in the blood

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High LDH level in the blood

What is high level of LDH in the blood called?

  • LDH high

What is the normal LDH level in the blood?

If you need to know which are the LDH reference ranges or you require more information about the role of LDH in the blood you can visit: Normal LDH level in the blood

What does a high LDH level in the blood mean?

A high level of LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) in the blood is a sign of tissue damage, mainly in injuries that affects heart, liver, skeletal muscle, kidney, lung and RBCs.

Increased levels of LDH are found in many diseases such as myocardial infarction, pulmonary diseases, hepatic diseases, hemolytic anemias, renal diseases, malignant diseases and muscular dystrophy.

Total LDH is the sum of five LDH isoenzymes and that is why it is interesting to study not only the total LDH but also the isoenzymes individually to get a better diagnosis.

For example, some diseases or disorders have the following patterns:

  • Myocardial infarction: Increase of total LDH due to an increase in LDH1 and LDH2
  • Infectious mononucleosis: Increase of total LDH due to an increase in LDH3, LDH4 and LDH5
  • Hemolytic disease: Increase of total LDH due to an increase in LDH1, LDH2 and LDH3
  • Malignant tumor of liver: Increase of total LDH due to an increase in LDH4 and LDH5
  • Muscular necrosis or inflammation: Increase of total LDH due to an increase in LDH5
  • Pancreatitis: Increase of total LDH due to an increase simultaneously in LDH2, LDH3, LDH4 y LDH5
  • Pulmonary infarction: LDH2 and LDH3 increase
  • Hepatitis: LDH4 and LDH5 increase
  • Cirrhosis: LDH5 increase

LDH blood values are usually given in UI/l but sometimes you can see these values in µkat/L following the International System of Units (SI). In case your values are in µkat/L you can convert them using this tool:

UI/l

A high LDH blood level means:

  • Mild LDH increase (240 - 480 UI/l in adults):

    LDH in the blood is a bit high, but it is not rare to see a slight increase in LDH with no relation with any disease or disorder. For example, it may be due to a strenuous exercise.

    LDH activity is normal or at most twice the upper reference limit in cirrhosis and obstructive jaundice. Mild elevation is also common in cholangitis, hyperthyroidism or delirium tremens.

  • Moderate LDH increase (480 – 960 UI/l in adults):

    A moderate LDH increase should be studied to know the underlying cause that is behind this situation.

    An increase in LDH 2 to 4 times normal may be a sign of pulmonary infarction, hemolytic disease, leukemia, mononucleosis or muscular dystrophy.

  • Marked LDH increase (960 - 2400 UI/l in adults):

    LDH level in the blood is very high and it is necessary to know the cause in order to treat it and reduce the LDH level in the blood.

    Marked LDH elevations (10 times normal) are observed for example in toxic hepatitis with jaundice.

  • Severe LDH increase (> 2400 UI/l in adults):

    A severe LDH increase is a matter to concern and may be related to some diseases and sometimes with cancer.

    Severe elevations of the total LDH activity in serum (up to 50 times the upper reference limit) have been observed in the megaloblastic anemias. It may also be a sign of metastasis (mainly liver metastases) or anoxia (lack of oxygen supply to the tissues).

Which factors can raise the LDH level in the blood?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise your LDH level in the blood:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Vigorous exercise
  • Drugs
    • Pain killers
      • Dextropropoxyphene
    • Anesthetics
    • Antiarrhythmic agents
      • Procainamide
      • Quinidine
    • Antibiotics
      • Erythromycin
      • Plicamycin
    • Antineoplastics
      • Methotrexate
    • Anti-diabetic medication
      • Chlorpropamide
    • Antiepileptic drugs
      • Phenobarbital
    • Aspirin
    • Colchicine
    • Fibrate
      • Clofibrate
    • Fluoride
    • ACE inhibitor
      • Captopril
    • Narcotic
    • Opiate
      • Codeine

Which diseases can raise your LDH level in the blood?

A LDH level higher than normal may be a sign of the following diseases:

  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Stroke
  • Pulmonary infarction
  • Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Renal infarction
  • Intestinal ischemia
  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatic cirrhosis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cholangitis
  • Mononucleosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypotension
  • Eclampsia
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Testicular cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Ewing's sarcoma

What can I do to lower the LDH level in the blood?

If your LDH level is a bit high, you must try to reduce your alcohol intake and give up smoking.

Many drugs may increase the LDH blood level so you should visit your doctor to know if you are taking any medication that can interfere with your LDH blood level.

Finally, it is necessary to know the underlying cause in order to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Where can I find more information about LDH level in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high LDH level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in UI/l. They are an example of a healthy man of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
Mild LDH increase
242 UI/l244 UI/l246 UI/l248 UI/l250 UI/l252 UI/l254 UI/l256 UI/l
258 UI/l260 UI/l262 UI/l264 UI/l266 UI/l268 UI/l270 UI/l272 UI/l
274 UI/l276 UI/l278 UI/l280 UI/l282 UI/l284 UI/l286 UI/l288 UI/l
290 UI/l292 UI/l294 UI/l296 UI/l298 UI/l300 UI/l302 UI/l304 UI/l
306 UI/l308 UI/l310 UI/l312 UI/l314 UI/l316 UI/l318 UI/l320 UI/l
322 UI/l324 UI/l326 UI/l328 UI/l330 UI/l332 UI/l334 UI/l336 UI/l
338 UI/l340 UI/l342 UI/l344 UI/l346 UI/l348 UI/l350 UI/l352 UI/l
354 UI/l356 UI/l358 UI/l360 UI/l362 UI/l364 UI/l366 UI/l368 UI/l
370 UI/l372 UI/l374 UI/l376 UI/l378 UI/l380 UI/l382 UI/l384 UI/l
386 UI/l388 UI/l390 UI/l392 UI/l394 UI/l396 UI/l398 UI/l400 UI/l
402 UI/l404 UI/l406 UI/l408 UI/l410 UI/l412 UI/l414 UI/l416 UI/l
418 UI/l420 UI/l422 UI/l424 UI/l426 UI/l428 UI/l430 UI/l432 UI/l
434 UI/l436 UI/l438 UI/l440 UI/l442 UI/l444 UI/l446 UI/l448 UI/l
450 UI/l452 UI/l454 UI/l456 UI/l458 UI/l460 UI/l462 UI/l464 UI/l
466 UI/l468 UI/l470 UI/l472 UI/l474 UI/l476 UI/l478 UI/l480 UI/l
Moderate LDH increase
482 UI/l484 UI/l486 UI/l488 UI/l490 UI/l492 UI/l494 UI/l496 UI/l
498 UI/l500 UI/l502 UI/l504 UI/l506 UI/l508 UI/l510 UI/l512 UI/l
514 UI/l516 UI/l518 UI/l520 UI/l522 UI/l524 UI/l526 UI/l528 UI/l
530 UI/l532 UI/l534 UI/l536 UI/l538 UI/l540 UI/l542 UI/l544 UI/l
546 UI/l548 UI/l550 UI/l552 UI/l554 UI/l556 UI/l558 UI/l560 UI/l
562 UI/l564 UI/l566 UI/l568 UI/l570 UI/l572 UI/l574 UI/l576 UI/l
578 UI/l580 UI/l582 UI/l584 UI/l586 UI/l588 UI/l590 UI/l592 UI/l
594 UI/l596 UI/l598 UI/l600 UI/l602 UI/l604 UI/l606 UI/l608 UI/l
610 UI/l612 UI/l614 UI/l616 UI/l618 UI/l620 UI/l622 UI/l624 UI/l
626 UI/l628 UI/l630 UI/l632 UI/l634 UI/l636 UI/l638 UI/l640 UI/l
642 UI/l644 UI/l646 UI/l648 UI/l650 UI/l652 UI/l654 UI/l656 UI/l
658 UI/l660 UI/l662 UI/l664 UI/l666 UI/l668 UI/l670 UI/l672 UI/l
674 UI/l676 UI/l678 UI/l680 UI/l682 UI/l684 UI/l686 UI/l688 UI/l
690 UI/l692 UI/l694 UI/l696 UI/l698 UI/l700 UI/l702 UI/l704 UI/l
706 UI/l708 UI/l710 UI/l712 UI/l714 UI/l716 UI/l718 UI/l720 UI/l
722 UI/l724 UI/l726 UI/l728 UI/l730 UI/l732 UI/l734 UI/l736 UI/l
738 UI/l740 UI/l742 UI/l744 UI/l746 UI/l748 UI/l750 UI/l752 UI/l
754 UI/l756 UI/l758 UI/l760 UI/l762 UI/l764 UI/l766 UI/l768 UI/l
770 UI/l772 UI/l774 UI/l776 UI/l778 UI/l780 UI/l782 UI/l784 UI/l
786 UI/l788 UI/l790 UI/l792 UI/l794 UI/l796 UI/l798 UI/l800 UI/l
802 UI/l804 UI/l806 UI/l808 UI/l810 UI/l812 UI/l814 UI/l816 UI/l
818 UI/l820 UI/l822 UI/l824 UI/l826 UI/l828 UI/l830 UI/l832 UI/l
834 UI/l836 UI/l838 UI/l840 UI/l842 UI/l844 UI/l846 UI/l848 UI/l
850 UI/l852 UI/l854 UI/l856 UI/l858 UI/l860 UI/l862 UI/l864 UI/l
866 UI/l868 UI/l870 UI/l872 UI/l874 UI/l876 UI/l878 UI/l880 UI/l
882 UI/l884 UI/l886 UI/l888 UI/l890 UI/l892 UI/l894 UI/l896 UI/l
898 UI/l900 UI/l902 UI/l904 UI/l906 UI/l908 UI/l910 UI/l912 UI/l
914 UI/l916 UI/l918 UI/l920 UI/l922 UI/l924 UI/l926 UI/l928 UI/l
930 UI/l932 UI/l934 UI/l936 UI/l938 UI/l940 UI/l942 UI/l944 UI/l
946 UI/l948 UI/l950 UI/l952 UI/l954 UI/l956 UI/l958 UI/l960 UI/l
Marked LDH increase
962 UI/l964 UI/l966 UI/l968 UI/l970 UI/l972 UI/l974 UI/l976 UI/l
978 UI/l980 UI/l982 UI/l984 UI/l986 UI/l988 UI/l990 UI/l992 UI/l
994 UI/l996 UI/l998 UI/l1000 UI/l1002 UI/l1004 UI/l1006 UI/l1008 UI/l
1010 UI/l1012 UI/l1014 UI/l1016 UI/l1018 UI/l1020 UI/l1022 UI/l1024 UI/l
1026 UI/l1028 UI/l1030 UI/l1032 UI/l1034 UI/l1036 UI/l1038 UI/l1040 UI/l
1042 UI/l1044 UI/l1046 UI/l1048 UI/l1050 UI/l1052 UI/l1054 UI/l1056 UI/l
1058 UI/l1060 UI/l1062 UI/l1064 UI/l1066 UI/l1068 UI/l1070 UI/l1072 UI/l
1074 UI/l1076 UI/l1078 UI/l1080 UI/l1082 UI/l1084 UI/l1086 UI/l1088 UI/l
1090 UI/l1092 UI/l1094 UI/l1096 UI/l1098 UI/l1100 UI/l1102 UI/l1104 UI/l
1106 UI/l1108 UI/l1110 UI/l1112 UI/l1114 UI/l1116 UI/l1118 UI/l1120 UI/l
1122 UI/l1124 UI/l1126 UI/l1128 UI/l1130 UI/l1132 UI/l1134 UI/l1136 UI/l
1138 UI/l1140 UI/l1142 UI/l1144 UI/l1146 UI/l1148 UI/l1150 UI/l1152 UI/l
1154 UI/l1156 UI/l1158 UI/l1160 UI/l1162 UI/l1164 UI/l1166 UI/l1168 UI/l
1170 UI/l1172 UI/l1174 UI/l1176 UI/l1178 UI/l1180 UI/l1182 UI/l1184 UI/l
1186 UI/l1188 UI/l1190 UI/l1192 UI/l1194 UI/l1196 UI/l1198 UI/l1200 UI/l
1202 UI/l1204 UI/l1206 UI/l1208 UI/l1210 UI/l1212 UI/l1214 UI/l1216 UI/l
1218 UI/l1220 UI/l1222 UI/l1224 UI/l1226 UI/l1228 UI/l1230 UI/l1232 UI/l
1234 UI/l1236 UI/l1238 UI/l1240 UI/l1242 UI/l1244 UI/l1246 UI/l1248 UI/l
1250 UI/l1252 UI/l1254 UI/l1256 UI/l1258 UI/l1260 UI/l1262 UI/l1264 UI/l
1266 UI/l1268 UI/l1270 UI/l1272 UI/l1274 UI/l1276 UI/l1278 UI/l1280 UI/l
1282 UI/l1284 UI/l1286 UI/l1288 UI/l1290 UI/l1292 UI/l1294 UI/l1296 UI/l
1298 UI/l1300 UI/l1302 UI/l1304 UI/l1306 UI/l1308 UI/l1310 UI/l1312 UI/l
1314 UI/l1316 UI/l1318 UI/l1320 UI/l1322 UI/l1324 UI/l1326 UI/l1328 UI/l
Last update: 24/11/2020

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 538.
  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David E. Bruns, Barbara G. Sawyer. WB Saunders Company, 2008. Pag 321. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2.
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses (8th ed), Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks, ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6, Pag. 285.

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