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PTD - 255

Test Directory -  Lactate Dehydrogenase (tumour marker)



Clinical Indications

Serum LDH is increased in many malignancies. Mild to moderate increases probably reflect tissue destruction but very high levels (>2,000 IU/L) may be seen in patients with lymphoma or leukaemia and in certain cancers of ovary or testis. Some solid tumours (e.g. lung, colon, stomach) may occasionally produce directly very high levels of LDH. 

Request Form 

Combined Pathology Blood form (Yellow/Black)


On request if specific criteria met.

Specific Criteria

Monitoring of therapy in lymphoma or leukaemia as a marker of cell proliferation. LDH may also be used as a marker is some cases of ovarian and testicular germ cell tumours and assessment of melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. 

Patient Preparation

None required


Haemolysis will artefactually increase levels.

Turnaround Time

Same day




1 ml


Yellow top (SST) tube or

paediatric orange top (lithium-heparin)

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled sample. Not meeting specific criteria for analysis. 

Reference Range

240 - 480 u/L


In patients on chemotherapy who are receiving granulocyte colony stimulating factor, LDH levels may increase in parallel with white cell count and should not be taken as evidence of worsening malignancy.
Increased levels of LDH may occur in a number of benign conditions including skeletal muscle disease, myocardial infarction, pernicious anaemia, thalassaemia and pulmonary embolism.

Lab. Handling

Processing:  Analysed from primary tube and stored at 4C in the cold room(NOLDH and save in separating freezer (CB40) at -20C, saved frozen rack)

Version 1.0 / July 2014                                                                                                            Approved by: Consultant Biochemist