What is AST (Aspartate-aminotransferase)?

What is AST (Aspartate-aminotransferase)?

AST (Aspartate-aminotransferase) is an enzyme found in various parts of the body. The highest concentrations are found in muscle, heart, and liver. Inflamed or injured liver cells leak higher than normal amounts of certain chemicals, including liver enzymes, into the bloodstream, which can result in elevated AST enzymes on blood tests. Elevated amounts of this enzyme may signal a health problem.

What is the meaning of the Aspartate-aminotransferase (AST) blood test?

It is usually used to detect liver damage. Other names for the test include “serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase” (or SGOT).

It is often ordered together with another liver enzyme, ALT (Alanine-aminotransferase), or as part of a liver panel to screen for and help to diagnose liver disorders.

What are normal and optimal AST Level?

AST test results will vary based on the laboratory completing the analysis. Talk to your doctor about your results.

Normal Ranges:


1-13 years: 8-60 U/L

> or = 14 years: 8-48 U/L


1-13 years: 8-50 U/L

> or =14 years: 8-43 U/L

Typically, the optimal range for the AST test is 10 to 34 IU/L (international units per liter).

What do higher AST Levels mean?

They may mean liver problems or they may not. Elevations of these liver enzymes can also occur with muscle damage. The interpretation of elevated AST and ALT results depends upon the entire clinical evaluation of an individual, and so it is best done by doctors and physicians experienced in evaluating liver disease and muscle disease.

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