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 medicines can affect ADH level, including:
- Diuretics (water pills)
- Blood pressure medicines
- Medicines for mental disorders
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
ADH blood test is ordered when your provider suspects you have a disorder that affects your ADH level such as:
- Buildup of fluids in your body that are causing swelling or puffiness (
- Excessive amounts of urine
- Low sodium (salt) level in your blood
- Thirst that is intense or uncontrollable
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 0 to 5.9 pg/mL (0 to 5.4 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.
Most laboratories cannot run this test. Only very specialized laboratories can perform the assay correctly.
Serum co-peptin is now commonly used as a substitute for measuring ADH.
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 the
Causes of SIADH include:
- Brain injury or trauma
- Brain tumors
- Fluid imbalance after surgery
Infection in the brainor the tissue that surrounds the brain Infection in the lungs
- Certain medicines, such as some seizure medicines, pain medicines, and antidepressants
Small cell carcinoma lung cancer Stroke
A higher-than-normal level of ADH may be found in people with heart failure, liver failure, or some kind of kidney disease.
A lower-than-normal level may indicate:
- Damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland
Central diabetes insipidus(a condition in which the kidneys are not able to conserve water)
- Excessive thirst (
- Too much fluid in the blood vessels (volume overload)
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:
- Excessive bleeding
Faintingor feeling lightheaded
- Multiple punctures to locate veins
Hematoma(blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
Frasier LL, Keating JJ, Shiroff AM. Endocrine responses in critically ill and trauma patients. In: Shifrin AL, ed. Endocrine Emergencies. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 25.
Guber HA, Oprea M, Russell YX. Evaluation of endocrine function. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 24th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 25.
Oh MS, Briefel G, Pincus MR. 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. 24th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 15.
Review Date: 12/05/2023
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright ©2019 A.D.A.M., Inc., as modified by University of California San Francisco. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Information developed by A.D.A.M., Inc. regarding tests and test results may not directly correspond with information provided by UCSF Health. Please discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.