What is Aspartate Aminotransferase?
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) is often included in blood tests as a measurement of liver health. The enzyme promotes healthy metabolism of amino acids. AST is similar to alanine transaminase (ALT), but the slight differences are important for medical diagnosis. High levels of AST may be indicative of renal disease, pancreatitis, and myocardial infarction, while ALT is most often associated with liver disease or disorder. Elevated AST without disease could be a sign of on-going alcoholism.

Normal Value Range

  • Negative Pregnancy Adult: 12 to 38 U/L or 0.2 to 0.63 µkat/L
  • Pregnancy Trimester One: 3 to 23 U/L or 0.05 to 0.38 µkat/L
  • Pregnancy Trimester Two: 3 to 33 U/L or 0.05 to 0.55 µkat/L
  • Pregnancy Trimester Three: 4 to 32 U/L or 0.07 to 0.53 µkat/L

Low values may be caused by deficient Vitamin B6 levels, uremia or metronidazole.

Higher values can be associated with cytomegalovirus, viral hepatitis, Epstein-Barr, fatty liver (pregnancy-related acute), cholecystitis, preeclampsia, hyperemesis gravidarum, HELLP syndrome, intrahepatic cholestasis, heparin, acetaminophen, isoniazid, methyldopa, pyelonephritis, myocardial infarction, metastasis, pulmonary emboli, Reye’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, hepatitis (alcoholic), muscular dystrophy, heat stroke, polymyositis, trauma, dermatomyositis, surgery, hyperthermia (malignant), trichinosis, hepatitis (autoimmune), hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease and anemia (hemolytic).

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