Aspartate aminotransferase ( AST)
Why do we do this test?
1.Elevation of AST indicates liver cell damage. Usually AST ordered with ALT. AST is found in cells in heart, RBC, muscle and kidney other than liver, not specific to liver like ALT.
ALT/ AST ratio is taken to predict some disease.
2.AST is one of the tests included in liver profile, ordered in patient who is presented with symptoms and signs of liver disorders.
Eg: Loss of appetite
Jaundice (yellowish discoloration of sclera and skin)
Abdominal pain and abdominal distension
Nausea and vomiting
Itching of skin (pruritus)
Dark urine and pale color stools
3.Use as a screening tool for patients who are at risk of liver disease
Family history of liver disease
Metabolic syndrome (diabetes and Obesity)
On medication that can cause liver damage
Heavy alcohol abuse
Infected with viruses may cause viral hepatitis
Specimen Type
Serum, Plasma (EDTA), Plasma (Li Heparin)
Instructions for specimen collection & Patient preparation
Blood drawn in a vein
No special preparation needed
Specimen transportation & Processing
Able to transport in room temperature
Specimen storage & stability
Activity in serum stable for up to 48 hours at 4oC
Specimen storage duration
Reference Intervals & Target Values
< 35 U/L
Critical Limits
Possible Pre-analytical Errors
spuriously elevated in heamolysis sample
Possible Analytical Errors
possible interference from bilirubin, lipemia and pyruvate
spuriously low in vitamin B6 deficiency
Available Government Laboratories
Recommended turnaround time
1-2 hours

Test Method
Measure the catalytic activity of the enzyme



Last Updated : 2020-09-23 04:28:40






College of Chemical Pathologists of Sri Lanka

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