Understand Your Test

Ammonia

Formal Name

 

Ammonia, plasma

 

Why Get Tested?

To detect an elevated level of ammonia in the blood that may be caused by severe liver diseasekidney failure, or certain rare genetic urea cycle disorders; to help investigate the cause of changes in behavior and consciousness; to support the diagnosis of hepatic encephalopathy or Reye syndrome.

When To Get Tested?

When someone with liver disease or kidney failure experiences mental changes or lapses into a coma; when a newborn experiences frequent vomiting and increased lethargy or when a child has continuous vomiting and unusual sleepiness about a week after a viral illness, such as the flu or chickenpox.