AST or SGOT blood test: High and low levels, and what do results mean

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is an enzyme that is found mainly in the liver. It is also present in kidneys and muscles but in smaller amounts. An AST blood test measures the amount of aspartate transferase in blood. Doctors suggest an AST blood test to assess liver health. Also this test provides other insight of other body parts too. Elevated AST levels affect other organs in the body like myocardial infarction, acute pancreatitis, acute renal disease etc. Lower levels of AST mean that the person has good health. When the liver or muscle cells are injured, AST is released to the bloodstream. This makes the test valuable for detecting or monitoring liver injury.

Common names for an AST blood test consist of:

  • Aspartate transferase (AST)
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
  • Serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT)
  • Aspartate transaminase (AST)
A high AST level indicates some liver damage, but it is not caused by hepatitis C. A high AST with a normal ALT may also be a sign that the AST is coming from a different part of the body. It is important to understand that AST levels in most hepatitis C patients go up and down. The level of AST does not tell the amount of liver damage. However, for patients undergoing hepatitis C therapy, it is useful to see if there is a fall in level of AST.

When the test is required:

  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Swollen belly, ankle and legs
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Itching
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Light-colored poop
  • Swelling in your legs and ankles
  • Bruises on skin


Normal ranges are -

  • Males: 10 to 40 units/L
  • Females: 9 to 32 units/L
Higher AST can be the cause by:
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis of liver
  • Blockage in the bile ducts
  • Liver cancer
  • Severe viral hepatitis
  • Liver injury caused by any toxic substances.
  • Some blockage of blood flow to the liver
Liver damage cannot be determined solely on the AST test result. This test is performed using alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Higher levels of both enzymes confirm liver injury. Unipath lab performs AST/SGOT to determine liver health. We offer the best service with accurate reports. To ease our patient's life, we offer home service too. To book the test, please contact us at +91(79) 49006800 or visit

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