Q:

What does high AST (SGOT) and ALT (SGPT) mean?

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Quick Answer

High aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase counts may indicate liver damage, including disease, according to WebMD. The extent of liver tissue damage is directly related to the amount of AST and ALT in the blood. The higher the count, the more likely the liver is damaged or diseased.

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Full Answer

The enzymes ALT and AST are found in the liver and, in lesser quantities, the heart, pancreas, kidneys and muscles, explains WebMD. Both the AST and ALT tests are performed to identify and help diagnose liver damage and disease, particularly hepatitis and cirrhosis, and to help doctors pinpoint the cause of jaundice. The tests also aid doctors in tracking the effectiveness of treatment and the potential side effects of drugs that cause liver damage.

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