Aspartate aminotransferase

Keywords: AST, Aspartate transaminase, Glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, SGOT

Specimen:

5 mL blood in lithium heparin or plain tube.

Method:

Spectrophotometry.

Reference Interval:

< 40 U/L. (< 80 U/L in neonates).

Application:

Detection and monitoring of liver cell damage.

Interpretation:

Increased levels are found with hepatocellular disease.

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

Although AST levels are increased with cardiac and skeletal muscle disease, more specific tests are available in these situations.

Haemolysis during collection or refrigeration of unseparated blood may cause an artefactual increase.

See Table 1.

Reference:

Rochling FA. Clin Cornerstone 2001; 3(6): 1-12.