Why is LDH elevated in lymphoma?

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Why is LDH elevated in lymphoma?

To diagnose the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), lot of skill and expertise is required by the pathologist. Among the tests that have to be done for diagnosing the NHL, Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) test is one. The LDH count is one of the blood tests that can be done to diagnose NHL. LDH is comprised of five different normal isoenzymes present in the blood. Severe stress or damage occurring to the body tissue will lead to the elevated levels of LDH. If the tissues in the body are damaged then they secrete more LDH. For instance, heart attack can raise the levels of LDH count in the blood within few hours after the attack. Even the cancer development can also trigger the elevation of LDH levels as the cancer activity in the cells will have the tendency to create stress or damage to the surrounding body tissues.

LDH test is not considered as a symptomatic or diagnostic test for lymphoma. Rather, it is used for monitoring the people who are suffering from lymphoma disease. The increase of LDH levels from the actual range identifies the probable development of the disease. LDH levels changes according to the age. It is found higher in the childhood as the bone growth is observed more. It was observed that in almost all kinds of cancers the LDH levels were elevated. So, it was concluded that this marker cannot be used for diagnosing a particular type of cancer. But, evaluating or measuring the levels of LDH can help in treating many diseases like Ewing’s sarcoma, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other types of leukemia. Elevated levels of LDH also were seen in conditions like heart failure, hypothyroidism, anemia and lung or liver disease.

Though the LDH levels were considered as the marker for identifying lymphoma, it was proved that this may not be the case always. This is because LDH levels can vary based on the strenuous exercise, hemolysis of blood specimen, or if the platelet count is increased. So it is not always true that lymphoma is accompanied by LDH elevation just because of this disease.

Author: Hari M

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