Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)
An alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test measures the amount of this Reference enzyme Opens New Window in the blood. ALT is found mainly in the liver, but also in smaller amounts in the Reference kidneys Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window, Reference heart Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window, muscles, and Reference pancreas Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. ALT was formerly called serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT).
ALT is measured to see if the liver is damaged or diseased. Low levels of ALT are normally found in the blood. But when the liver is damaged or diseased, it releases ALT into the bloodstream, which makes ALT levels go up. Most increases in ALT levels are caused by liver damage.
The ALT test is often done along with other tests that check for liver damage, including aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and bilirubin. Both ALT and AST levels are reliable tests for liver damage.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 4, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology