Aldolase is an enzyme that is responsible for speeding up the conversion of glucose into energy. The aldolase blood test is used in the management of muscular dystrophy and other medical conditions that affect the function of the skeletal muscles.
This test is ordered when a medical professional suspects damage to the liver or muscles. It can also be ordered if someone with known muscle or liver damage needs to be monitored. The test is useful for treating or monitoring conditions such as muscular dystrophy, heart attack, dermatomyositis and polymyositis. It may be ordered if you report frequent muscle cramps or related symptoms to your doctor.
Because diet may affect the results of an aldolase blood test, you may be advised to stop eating and drinking at least six hours before you have the test. You may also be asked to stop taking prescription and over the counter drugs that may interfere with the test results. This test involves giving a blood sample from a vein in your arm, so it is best if you wear loose-fitting clothing that will allow you to easily roll up your sleeve.
During this test, a sample of your blood will be taken from a vein in your arm. Your arm will be cleaned with an antiseptic and a needle will be used to draw the blood. After the sample has been taken, you may be asked to apply pressure to the site of the needle stick to stop excess bleeding. The draw site will be covered with medical tape or an adhesive bandage, which can be removed once any bleeding has stopped. The risks associated with this procedure include fainting, excessive bleeding, lightheadedness and hematoma, which is when blood accumulates under the skin at the site of a needle stick or injury.
The American Association of Clinical Chemistry cites a reference range of 1.0 to 7.5 units per liter for the aldolase test. Your laboratory may have a different reference range, so it's important to discuss your results with your medical care provider. High levels of this enzyme can indicate skeletal muscle damage, infectious mononucleosis, muscular dystrophy, polymyositis, heart attack, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, hepatitis or prostate cancer. Your doctor may ask you to have an ALT test, AST test or CPK test to rule out or confirm a possible diagnosis.