Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)



Quest Diagnostics Test Code: 822

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is an enzyme inside the liver cells. The bigger the liver damage, the more of it will be present in the blood.

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST), also called serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (sGOT) is hepatic enzyme that represents hepatic function. Due to the fact that it establishes its function inside hepatocytes, increased level of this enzyme means that liver cells are somehow damaged. It could be sign of acute or chronic liver inflammation caused by viruses, alcohol disease, drug misuse, ishemic hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, hepatic cancer, hepatic cirrhosis, celiac disease, Wilson’s disease, etc. Everything that causes acute destruction of hepatocytes leads to high elevation of AST, when its level can be higher even 100 times than the referent point (which is rare). Usually it is 10-40 times higher (acute viral hepatitis for example). Level gets its maximum in 7-12 days and starts easily lowering afterwards. In chronic processes that affect liver, level of AST could be slightly elevated, just 2-4 times over the referent point (chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis). AST level can also be lower than normal, which can happen in terminal liver disease, chronic hemodialysis, pregnancy. Normal AST level is <40 UI/L for male, and <34 UI/L for female.
AST could also be found in heart and muscles cells, pancreas, erythrocytes so its level could also be a sign of heart attack, muscle destruction, pulmonary embolism, hemolytic disease, but is not very specific.

This test is performed in following conditions such as:

• Routine blood testing
• Suspected intoxication (drugs, alcohol)
• Suspected viral infection (hepatotropic viruses)
• Chronic liver disease
• Ascites (suspected liver failure)
• Suspected cirrhosis

Also Known As: AST(SGOT)


The Aspartate Aminotransferase test (AST/SGOT test) has no fasting requirements.


Specimen Collected
  • Blood
Estimated Time Taken

Turnaround time for the Aspartate Aminotransferase test is typically 1 business day.