This test measures Ammonia levels in the blood. Ammonia is produced in the body during the digestion of protein. It is normally broken down by the liver and then passed through the kidneys where it is removed from the body in urine. If any of the body's natural processes for removing ammonia do not function properly, ammonia can build up causing health problems. Elevated ammonia levels can be caused by a number of conditions including liver disease, kidney failure, Reyes Syndrome or a deficiency in certain enzymes responsible for breaking ammonia down.
Ammonia testing is typically ordered when a person is experiencing symptoms such as confusion, disorientation and sleepiness which may be caused by Hepatic Encephalopathy, a condition resulting from ammonia building up in the tissues of the brain. Ammonia testing can also be used to monitor people with liver disease, especially if their condition seems to worsen.
For people with liver disease, an ammonia test is often ordered with a Hepatic Function Panel to monitor live function.
Turnaround for the Ammonia Blood Test is typically 1 business day.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
Ammonia testing requires fasting for 12 hours prior to going in for blood collection. Fasting is necessary to avoid lipemia which may interfere with the testing.
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