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What is a ammonia Test?
The ammonia test can be used to help investigate the cause of changes in behaviour and consciousness. It may be requested with other tests such as glucose, electrolytes, and kidney and liver function tests to help diagnose the cause of a coma or to help support the diagnosis of Reye’s syndrome or hepatic encephalopathy. An ammonia blood test may also be requested to help detect and evaluate the severity of a urea cycle defect.
Some doctors use the ammonia test to monitor the effectiveness of treatment of hepatic (liver) encephalopathy, but there is not widespread agreement on how best to use the test clinically. Since hepatic encephalopathy can be caused by the build-up of a variety of other poisonous substances in the blood and brain, blood ammonia concentrations may not be very good at showing how bad the disease is.