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Serum lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme activities in patients with asthma
  1. D. J. Usher1,
  2. R. J. Shepherd2,
  3. T. Deegan
  1. Liverpool Regional Cardiac Centre, Sefton General Hospital, Liverpool L15 2HE


    Usher, D. J., Shepherd, R. J., and Deegan, T. (1974).Thorax, 29, 685-689. Serum lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme activities in patients with asthma. Increases in the serum activities of several enzymes have been reported in patients with asthma. Liver damage, resulting from altered tensions of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the circulation, has been held to be responsible for the majority of this increase, although it has also been suggested that allergic reactions in the lungs might make some contribution.

    This communication describes the application of a more specific enzyme assay, the serum lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) isoenzyme pattern, to asthma patients in an attempt to elucidate the source of the increase in enzyme activity. Raised activities of two isoenzymes, LDH-3 and LDH-5, comprised the bulk of the increase in total LDH activity; in contrast, the activities of LDH-1 and LDH-2 were virtually unaltered. Analysis of the distribution of isoenzyme activity in lung tissue homogenate, coupled with knowledge of that in liver, suggested that both tissues contributed towards the effects observed. It appeared probable that the increment in LDH-3 activity arose from lung involvement, whereas the major portion of the increment in LDH-5 activity was derived from the liver.

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    • 1 Present address: Department of Chemical Pathology, For esterhil Aberdeen AB9 2ZD

    • 2 Present address: The Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool L8 5SH