What is ALT – Alanine aminotransferase
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme that is normally found in liver cells and some other tissues in the body. ALT is a measure of liver function and an increase in its levels in the blood may indicate damage or disease in liver cells.
Why is ALT analyzed?
The ALT value is often used together with other blood tests to diagnose and monitor liver diseases.
What can an elevated value of ALT mean?
An increased level of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) can be seen in a variety of conditions, including viral hepatitis, obesity, toxic liver damage, alcoholic hepatitis, obstruction of the bile ducts, liver tumors, preeclampsia, hemochromatosis, and in conditions that lead to acute oxygen deficiency in the liver. It is important to carry out further tests and investigations to determine the cause of the elevated ALT level and assess the severity of the underlying problem.
About ALT and AST
ALT, alanine aminotransferase, and AST, aspartate aminotransferase, are two enzymes found, among other things, inside the cells of the liver. These can leak into the blood if the liver is irritated or inflamed, which gives elevated values. The test can be done if liver cell damage is suspected and during follow-up of chronic liver disease.
Cause of inflamed or irritated liver:
- obesity and overweight
- certain medicinal and herbal remedies
- viral inflammation of the liver such as hepatitis B and C.