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
Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.
Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm.
Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin and make it bleed. The blood collects into a small glass tube called a pipette, or onto a slide or test strip. A bandage may be placed over the area if there is any bleeding.
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. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. 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:
Reviewed By: John G. Hay, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Pathology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.