This page helps you to understand blood test results for your ASP and gives you the reference range to determine if your lab test results mean that you a have high, low or normal ASP levels.
We outline the risk factors associated with raised and low ASP levels.
Reference Ranges for ALT:
|US Conventional Units||U/L||8-43||<8 or >43|
|Standard International Units||U/L||8-43||<8 or >43|
What is Aspartate transaminase (AST)
AST is an enzyme found in cells throughout the body but mostly in the heart and liver and, to a lesser extent, in the kidneys and muscles. In healthy individuals, levels of AST in the blood are low. When liver or muscle cells are injured, they release AST into the blood. This makes AST a useful test for detecting or monitoring liver damage.
An AST test is often performed along with an ALT. Both are enzymes found in the liver that become elevated in the blood when the liver is damaged. A calculated AST/ALT ratio is useful for differentiating between different causes of liver injury and in recognizing when the increased levels may be coming from another source, such as heart or muscle injury .
Function of Aspartate transaminase (AST)
AST is used to help your body to metabolize alanine, an amino acid.
Risk factors associated with Aspartate transaminase (AST)
Very high levels of AST (more than 10 times normal) are usually due to hepatitis or a viral infection. With acute hepatitis, AST levels usually stay high for about 1-2 months but can take as long as 3-6 months to return to normal. Levels of AST may also be markedly elevated (often over 100 times normal) as a result of exposure to drugs or other substances that are toxic to the liver as well as in conditions that cause decreased blood flow (ischemia) to the liver .
Notable variations by Demographic Group
Pregnancy may increase AST levels. AST can also be elevated after strenuous exercise or muscle injury which can therefore potentially impact on the result of an AST test .