What Does It Mean When You Have High Levels of SGOT and SGPT?

High levels of the enzymes aspartate aminotransferase, also called SGOT, and alanine aminotransferase, also called SGPT, are indicators of liver disease, according to MedicineNet. The injured or otherwise damaged liver sends these enzymes into the bloodstream.

A normal SGOT value is between 5 and 40 units per liter of serum, and a normal SGPT value is between 7 and 56 units per liter of serum, according to Hepatitis Central. SGOT occurs in other organs and tissues in the body, and injuries to any of the other organs and tissues containing it can raise SGOT blood levels. By itself, SGOT does not necessarily indicate a problem with liver function, whereas SGPT is concentrated in the liver and is a strong indicator for liver problems when it is present in the bloodstream, according to MedicineNet.

SGOT can be a significant disease type indicator in proportion to SGPT. A 1979 study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences found that the ratio between SGOT and SGPT was significant. Patients with alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis had nearly three times as much SGOT as they did SGPT, while patients who had chronic or viral hepatitis had SGOT and SGPT levels that were closer together. The study found that a high ratio of SGOT to SGPT occurred in 70 percent of alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis patients but much less frequently in patients receiving treatment for chronic or viral hepatitis.