Antidiuretic hormone blood test
Antidiuretic blood test measures the level of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) in blood.
Arginine vasopressin; Antidiuretic hormone; AVP; Vasopressin
How the Test is Performed
How to Prepare for the Test
Talk to your health care provider about your medicines before the test. Many drugs can affect ADH level, including:
How the Test will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or slight bruising. This soon goes away.
Why the Test is Performed
ADH is a hormone that is produced in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. It is then stored and released from the pituitary, a small gland at the base of the brain. ADH acts on the kidneys to control the amount of water excreted in the urine.
ADH blood test is ordered when your provider suspects you have a disorder that affects your ADH level such as:
Certain diseases affect the normal release of ADH. The blood level of ADH must be tested to determine the cause of the disease. ADH may be measured as part of a water restriction test to find the cause of a disease.
Normal values for ADH can range from 1 to 5 pg/mL (0.9 to 4.6 pmol/L).
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or may test different specimens. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
A higher-than-normal level may occur when too much ADH is released, either from the brain where it is made, or from somewhere else in the body. This is called syndrome of inappropriate ADH (SIADH).
Causes of SIADH include:
A higher-than-normal level of ADH may be found in people with heart failure, liver failure, or some kinds of kidney disease.
A lower-than-normal level may indicate:
There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another, and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) - serum. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:146.
Guber HA, Farag AF. Evaluation of endocrine function. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2017:chap 24.
Oh MS, Briefel G. Evaluation of renal function, water, electrolytes, and acid-base balance. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2017:chap 14.
Review Date: 5/6/2019
Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, board certified in Metabolism/Endocrinology, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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