Aldolase is a protein (called an enzyme) that helps break down certain sugars into energy. It is found in high amounts in muscle tissue.
A test can be done to measure the amount of aldolase in your blood.
How the Test is Performed
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture
How to Prepare for the Test
You may be told not to eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the test. Your health care provider will tell you if it's necessary to stop taking any drugs that may interfere with this test. Make sure that your doctor is aware of all drugs you are taking, both prescription and nonprescription.
How the Test Will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is done to diagnose or monitor muscle or liver damage.
A typical reference range is 1.0 to 7.5 units per liter. There are slight differences between men and women.
The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Greater than normal levels of aldolase may be due to:
- Damage to skeletal muscles
- Infectious mononucleosis
- Liver, pancreatic, or prostate cancer
- Muscular dystrophy
- Myocardial infarction
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling lightheaded
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
The following tests are more specific indicators of muscle and liver damage:
Brancaccio P, et al. Biochemical markers of muscular damage. Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48(6):757-67.
Chinnery PF. Muscle diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 229.
Review Date: 11/17/2011
Reviewed By: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine and David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.