Aldolase is an enzyme that is found throughout the body. It is particularly found in large amounts in muscle tissue. Like other enzymes, the body requires this enzyme to trigger certain chemical reactions; in this case the body needs aldolase to convert glucose into energy. There are three types of aldolase found in the body; these are aldolase A, B, and C. Any person suffering from skeletal muscle disease will have an increased level of aldolase A in his or her blood. Muscles attached to the bones and which cause the bones are known as skeletal muscles. When these muscles are damaged or diseased for instance in the case of muscle dystrophy, the cells of these muscles deteriorate and break open.
This causes the cell's contents to spill into the blood. One of the components of these cells is aldolase, which therefore appears in elevated levels. Other diseases that cause aldolase levels to increase are chronic hepatitis or heart attack; this is because aldolase B is also found in such organs as the liver and the heart. When these organs are damaged their cells deteriorate, break down and leak their contents into the blood stream. However, in case of liver or heart damage, the level of aldolase B will be less as compared with aldolase a released by skeletal muscle damage.
Aldolase tests are done to check and monitor liver diseases and skeletal muscle diseases. It is also used to monitor patients suffering from with muscular dystrophy and is used for other rare conditions that affect the skeletal muscles.
In an aldolase blood test, a health care worker will draw out a small amount of blood from your forearm. Serum is then extracted from the blood that was collected from the patient and is mixed with a chemical. This triggers a reaction from the aldolase present in the serum and helps to measure the level of aldolase in the serum.
The patient should fast for eight to ten hours prior to the Aldolase test. Drinking small amounts of water is permitted. Strenuous activity can raise the level of aldolase in the blood; it is therefore recommended that any person intending to take the aldolase blood test avoid any kind of exercise. Aldolase levels can also be affected by certain medications, therefore, the patient needs to inform his or her doctor about all medications being taken.