5-Aminolevulinic acid (ALA)

Description: 
ALA is a test offered by the SAAS Porphyria Service in Reference Biochemistry at King’s College Hospital. Quantitative measurement of ALA is carried out using ion-exchange chromatography and spectrophotometry
Clinical details: 
ALA is a precursor in the haem synthesis pathway and is elevated in patients during an acute porphyria attack. Increases in ALA excretion can also be seen in patients with hereditary tyrosinaemia and lead toxicity. Urine ALA is analysed and reported with urine PBG.
Reference range: 

Random urine < 3.8 µmol/mmol creatinine, 24 hour urine < 46µmol/24 hrs

Synonyms or keywords: 
ALA
Sample type and Volume required: 
10 -20 mL fresh urine, preferably collected early morning. An aliquot of a 24 hour urine collection will be accepted noting urine volume. No preservative is necessary but specimens should be protected from light.
Turnaround time: 
1-2 weeks
Storage and transport: 
Specimens can be sent by first class post without ice packs. Specimens are stable for several weeks if frozen while awaiting despatch
Contacts:
Reference Biochemistry Department at King's College Hospital
020 3299 4107
King's College Hospital
Denmark Hill
London SE5 9RS
Porphyrins and Gastrointestinal Laboratory at King's College Hospital
Porphyrins - 020 3299 3856, Gut Permeability - 020 3299 4133
King's College Hospital
Denmark Hill
London SE5 9RS
For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 03/02/2017