Letter | Published:

Diagnostic Significance of Heterogeneous Lactic Dehydrogenases in Malignant Effusions

Naturevolume 191pages507508 (1961) | Download Citation



THERE is no laboratory test available for the differentiation of benign effusions from malignant exudates. Wroblewski and Wroblewski1 reported in 1958 that, in malignancy, concentration of lactic dehydrogenase is frequently higher in effusions than in the corresponding sera. Nevertheless, the diagnostic value of these determinations is restricted since in about one-third of all cases investigated the amount of the lactic dehydrogenase in serum and effusion was the same1. Recent work on lactic dehydrogenase of tissues2 and serum3–5 indicates that this enzyme occurs in a number of molecular species which can be distinguished on account of their kinetics, antigenicity, inhibition by diphosphopyridine nucleotide analogues and electrophoretic mobility. In serum, starch block3,4 and agar gel5 electrophoresis and chromatography on diethylaminoethyl (DEAE) cellulose6 showed the presence of at least four dehydrogenases, which are best labelled according to their electrophoretic mobility, namely, α1, α2, β and γ-lactic dehydrogenase. A specific increase in particular fractions has been observed in the following diseases: at in myocardial infarction3–6, α1 + α2 in muscular dystrophy4 and γ in liver disease5,6.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Wroblewski, F., and Wroblewski, R., Ann. Int. Med., 48, 813 (1958).

  2. 2

    Wieland, T., and Pfleiderer, G., Biochem. Z., 329, 112 (1957).

  3. 3

    Vesell, E. S., and Bearn, A. G., Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med., 94, 96 (1957).

  4. 4

    Richterich, R., Gautier, E., Zuppinger, K., Egli, H., and Rossi, E., Klin. Wschr., 39, 346 (1961).

  5. 5

    Wieme, R. J., Clin. Chim. Acta., 4, 46 (1959).

  6. 6

    Hess, B., and Walter, S. I., Klin. Wschr., 38, 1080 (1960).

  7. 7

    Kunkel, H. G., Methods of Biochem. Anal., 1, 141 (1954).

  8. 8

    Kubowitz, F., and Ott, P., Biochem. Z., 314, 94 (1943).

  9. 9

    Warburg, O., and Christian, W., Biochem. Z., 314, 399 (1943).

Download references

Author information


  1. Medizinisch-chemisches Institut und Kinderklinik, Universität, Berne

    • , K. ZUPPINGER
    •  & E. ROSSI


  1. Search for R. RICHTERICH in:

  2. Search for K. ZUPPINGER in:

  3. Search for E. ROSSI in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.