Blood Test

A blood test can be done to measure the level of ALT, AST and ALK PHOS.

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)
An alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test measures the amount of this enzyme in the blood. ALT is found mainly in the liver, but also in smaller amounts in the kidneys camera.gif, heart, muscles, and pancreas.

ALT is measured to see if the liver is damaged or diseased. Low levels of ALT are normally found in the blood. But when the liver is damaged or diseased, it releases ALT into the bloodstream, which makes ALT levels go up. Most increases in ALT levels are caused by liver damage. The ALT test is often done along with other tests that check for liver damage, including aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase.

Normal values (reference range)

Females: 7–35 U/L or 0.12–0.60 mckat/L
Males: 10–40 units per liter (U/L) or 0.17–0.68 microkats per liter (mckat/L)

High levels of ALT may be caused by:

Liver damage from conditions such as hepatitis or cirrhosis.
Lead poisoning.
Exposure to carbon tetrachloride.
Decay of a large tumor (necrosis).
Many medicines, such as statins, antibiotics, chemotherapy, aspirin, narcotics, and barbiturates.

What are the aminotransferases?

The aminotransferases catalyze chemical reactions in which an amino group from one amino acid (amino acids are building blocks of proteins) is transferred from a donor molecule to a recipient molecule, hence, the names “aminotransferases.” Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is also known as serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT). The enzyme aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is also known as serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT).

ALT Normal values (reference range)
The normal range of values for ALT (SGPT) is about 7 to 56 units per liter of serum.

AST Normal values (reference range)
5 to 40 units per liter of serum (the liquid part of the blood).

AST (Aspartate transaminase) also called SGOT (Serum Glutamic Oxalocetic Transaminase) or ASAT (Aspartate Aminotransferase) is an enzyme associated with liver parenchymal cells found primarily in the liver, heart, kidney, pancreas and muscles. It is seen in tissue damage, especially the heart and liver. The lab values are raised in acute liver damage, but is also present in red blood cells, cardiac and skeletal muscle and is therefore not actually specific to the liver.

ALT (Alanine Transaminase) also called SGPT (Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase) or or ALAT (Alanine Aminotransferase) is an enzyme present in hepatocytes (liver cells).

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme in the cells lining the biliary ducts of the liver. It is used extensively as a tumor marker and is also present in bone injury, pregnancy, or skeletal growth with elevated readings. Low levels are sometimes found in hypoadrenia, protein deficiency, malnutrition and a number of vitamin deficiencies

ALP levels in plasma will rise when large bile duct obstruction is present or there is intrahepatic cholestasis or infiltrative diseases of the liver. ALP is also present in bone and placental tissue, so it is higher in growing children as their bones are maturing and also in elderly patients who have Paget’s disease.

Normal Adult Range: 30 – 120 IU/L


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