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Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)

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 aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test is more effective than the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test for detecting liver damage caused by alcohol abuse. The AST to ALT ratio may sometimes help determine if liver damage is related to alcohol dependence. For more information, see the topic Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT).
  • Many different conditions can raise AST blood levels, so other testing is usually needed to interpret an abnormal AST result.

Citations

  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.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
Current as of January 23, 2014
1 | 2 | 3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 23, 2014
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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