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Delta Aminolaevulinate Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The body contains a gene, known as the ALAD gene, which is responsible for the production of an enzyme called delta Aminolaevulinate. This enzyme is primarily involved in the biosynthesis of heme, a molecule that is very important for the functioning of a number of organs in the body. Heme is a vital component of various proteins that contain iron in the blood, and is a very important part of bone marrow, the liver, and hemoglobin present in the blood.

Reasons for Delta Aminolaevulinate

A reduction in the production of heme by the delta aminolaevulinate enzyme or a deficiency of the enzyme itself could lead to the excessive production of acid in the body, which could turn toxic and prove to be dangerous. This deficiency causes the excess acid to spill over into the blood stream and is excreted through the urine. It also causes an increased risk of lead poisoning which in turn, can result in major damage to the central nervous system, the reproductive system and the kidneys. It also influences the production of blood in the body and affects the levels of lead that are present in the bones and blood. A delta aminolaevulinate urine or blood test can be made use of to decipher the amount of lead poisoning that a patient’s body has undergone, and is also often used to check damage to vital organs, caused by chronic alcoholism. In order to prevent serious disorders related to delta aminolaevulinate, it is essential to check the delta aminolaevulinate levels so that treatment can be advised accordingly.

Preparation

If a blood test is being conducted, no preparation as such is needed. In the case of a urine test, the urine collected as a sample for a blood test should not be contaminated in anyway and making sure that the genital area is thoroughly cleansed before collection is essential. The doctor will recommend the time of day preferable for the test.

Procedure

For a blood test, a small amount of blood is usually drawn from the vein in the arm using a thin needle and syringe. For urine tests, the patient being tested is asked to visit the restroom and collect some urine in a sterilized container, given by the technician, which is labeled with the patient’s name so as to prevent a mix-up. The urine is to be collected carefully. The sample is then sent for detailed investigation.

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