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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What does ammonia test result mean?

hello, I have cirrosis,and have been hospitalized for hepatic encephalopathy many times. I take xifaxan 550mg tabs 2 times daily and lactulose 15mls. 3 times a day.I went to my primary care physicians on friday April 18th. and had the lab in his office to do an ammonia test and usually I go to the hospital for my ammonia level testing. The result I got back from his lab was 231. I recieved this result today April 21st. I also know his lab freezes my blood and sends it out to be tested. I feel just fine today and wonder if his lab got a bad result
Mon, 8 Sep 2014
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Pulmonologist 's  Response
Thanks for your question on HCM. Yes you are right. Long duration of time for transporting blood samples can alter the result. And hepatic encephalopathy is not only laboratory diagnosis. It is more of a clinical diagnosis. Yes, high ammonia level is helpful in diagnosis but clinical judgement is must. Recent studies suggest that ammonia level can help in predicting encephalopathy. Means high ammonia level suggest high chances of developing encephalopathy. So better to recheck it with other lab.
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What does ammonia test result mean?

Thanks for your question on HCM. Yes you are right. Long duration of time for transporting blood samples can alter the result. And hepatic encephalopathy is not only laboratory diagnosis. It is more of a clinical diagnosis. Yes, high ammonia level is helpful in diagnosis but clinical judgement is must. Recent studies suggest that ammonia level can help in predicting encephalopathy. Means high ammonia level suggest high chances of developing encephalopathy. So better to recheck it with other lab.