Ecoline™ Ammonia

Why is the test performed ??

Ecoline Ammonia™ detects an elevated level of ammonia in the blood that may be caused by severe liver disease, kidney failure, or certain rare genetic urea cycle disorders; to help investigate the cause of changes in behaviour and consciousness; to support the diagnosis of hepatic encephalopathy or Reye syndrome.

Increased levels of ammonia may also be seen with:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding - blood cells are hemolyzed in the intestines, releasing protein
  • Muscular exertion - muscles produce ammonia when active and absorb it when resting
  • Tourniquet use - ammonia levels can be increased in the blood sample collected
  • Use of certain drugs, including alcohol, barbiturates, diuretics, valproic acid, and narcotics
  • Cigarette smoking

Decreased levels of ammonia may be seen with the use of some antibiotics, such as neomycin.

Ammonia tests can also be performed on arterial blood, but this method is much less frequently used. Some healthcare practitioners feel that arterial ammonia measurements are more clinically useful, but there is not widespread agreement on this.