Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)

Other names: Alanine Transaminase, Serum Glutamic-Pyruvic Transaminase, SGPT
Specimen: Blood



Your Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) is

Normal blood levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) range between 6-60 U/L (units per liter).

The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test is one of several that are routinely used to help detect and monitor liver damage. Liver function is typically evaluated by a panel of tests that help doctors distinguish among the many different possible causes of liver damage, which can range from alcohol abuse to hepatitis infection or the side effects of certain medications.
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme found primarily in the cells of the liver and kidneys. The enzyme plays a role in manipulating some of the tiny building blocks that make up proteins. In healthy individuals, ALT levels in the blood are low, but when the liver is damaged, ALT leaks out of cells into the blood stream. This often occurs before more obvious symptoms such as jaundice, appear. Risk factors include hepatitis infection, alcoholism, obesity, diabetes and side effects from prescription as well as over-the-counter medications.
A recent study of 17 European countries showed large differences seen between the proportions of men dying as a result of chronic liver disease. Austria had the highest percentage (3.4%) of its total deaths as a result of liver disease and cirrhosis; Ireland (0.6%) and Norway (0.6%) had the lowest percentage of overall deaths attributable to these causes. Drinking patterns (daily versus binge) may be one factor playing a role in the differences.