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Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

What To Think About

  • The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) value is often used along with the results of the aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test to obtain the AST to ALT ratio. This value can often help determine whether there is damage to the liver related to alcohol abuse. For more information, see the topic Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST).
  • In children with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), very high ALT levels may mean that the disease is likely to progress rapidly.
  • Many different conditions can raise ALT blood levels, so other testing is usually needed to interpret an abnormal ALT result.


  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2013). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 6th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014

1 | 2 | 3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: /2, 14 1
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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