Alanine aminotransferase

Keywords: ALT, Alanine transaminase, Glutamic pyruvic transaminase, SGPT

Specimen:

5 mL blood in lithium heparin or plain tube.

Method:

Spectrophotometry.

Reference Interval:

Adult: < 35 U/L

Neonate: < 50 U/L

Application:

Detection and monitoring of liver cell damage.

Interpretation:

Increased ALT levels are associated with hepatocellular damage.

ALT is more specific for hepatocellular damage than is AST or LD and remains elevated for longer, due to its longer half-life.

The AST/ALT ratio is typically > 1 in alcoholic liver disease and < 1 in non-alcoholic liver disease.

ALT may be elevated in skeletal muscle disease but the degree of elevation is much less than for AST and CK.

Reference:

Rochling FA. Clin Cornerstone 2001; 3: 1-12.