Ammonia, Plasma
Fasting Required: Yes 12 hours

Specimen: Blood

Lab: Quest Diagnostics

Results: 1-3 business days
Note: Result turnaround 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.

Collection Instructions: Patient should not clench fist during collection, as muscular exertion often increases venous ammonia levels. Patient should avoid smoking prior to phlebotomy since smoking increases plasma ammonia levels.

Description: Ammonia is one of the by-products of protein metabolism that is normally transported to the liver. Elevated blood ammonia levels have been associated with severe liver dysfunction such as hepatic encephalopathy, coma resulting from cirrhosis, severe hepatitis, Reye's syndrome, and drug hepatotoxicity. Also, elevated blood ammonia has been reported in cardiac failure, azotemia, and pulmonary emphysema. Correlation between plasma ammonia and the degree of encephalopathy can be erratic.

Alternative Names: NH3