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High (AST) Aspartate Aminotransferase level in the blood

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High (AST) Aspartate Aminotransferase level in the blood

What is high AST level in the blood called?

  • AST Hypertransaminasemia

What is the normal level of AST in the blood?

If you need to know which are the AST reference ranges or you require more information about the role of AST in the blood you can visit: Normal AST level in the blood

What does a high AST level in the blood mean?

An increase in the AST (Aspartate aminotransferase) level, formerly named glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), may indicate problems related to the liver. It can be consequence of fatty liver or alcoholic liver disease patterns or it may be a sign of chronic liver diseases like cirrhosis or hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).

The AST is useful to monitor muscle and heart damage. It can also be a marker to predict the prognosis of a heart attack.

AST Hypertransaminasemia or a high AST level in the blood mean:

  • Mild AST hypertransaminasemia (50 – 150 U/L in adult men, 35 - 105 U/L in adult women):

    The AST blood level is higher than normal but if you do not have any symptom it is usually not a matter of concern.

    It can be a consequence of obesity, alcohol intake or because you are taking drugs to treat any other disease. You should follow a healthy lifestyle and this way it is probable that the AST will be in the normal range in a few months.

    Talk to your doctor about the possible interaction of the drugs you are currently taking or in case you are suffering any symptom.

  • Moderate AST hypertransaminasemia (150 - 250 U/L in adult men, 105 - 175 U/L in adult women):

    A moderate AST elevation is not a serious concern, but the possible causes should be researched because it may be a first sign of liver problems.

    Alcohol intake is one of the main factors than can raise AST. If this is your case, you should restrict your alcohol consumption.

    AST hypertransaminasemia is also frequently due to fatty liver (hepatic steatosis). Fatty liver is an accumulation of fat in the liver. It is a benign disease but if it is not treated properly, it can lead to more serious complications.

    You should visit your doctor and he will tell you the following steps to determine the causes.

  • Marked AST hypertransaminasemia (250 - 500 U/L in adult men, 175 - 350 U/L in adult women):

    A marked AST elevation suggests a liver disease. It may be a sign of chronic hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).

    It may also be due to not liver diseases, for example:

    • After a heart attack
    • After a muscle injury

    You must visit your doctor as soon as possible. He will tell you the tests and procedures you should follow to diagnose the origin of this elevation.

  • Severe AST hypertransaminasemia (> 500 U/L in adult men, > 350 U/L in adult women):

    Your AST level in the blood is so high that there is a real probability that your liver is damaged. It is highly likely that you are suffering from acute hepatitis or liver ischemia.

    A drug-induced liver injury can show extreme high AST values, even 100 times above the reference level.

    You must find urgent medical attention to avoid irreversible damage to your liver.

Which factors can raise AST blood levels?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise your AST level in the blood:

  • Alcohol
  • Illicit drugs
  • Vitamin A abuse
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Burns
  • Muscle trauma
  • Drugs
    • Antibiotics
      • Erythromycin
    • Anticoagulants
    • Oral Contraceptives
    • Antifungal
    • Antihypertensives
    • Aspirin
    • Barbiturate
    • Narcotic
    • Paracetamol

Which diseases can raise your AST level in the blood?

There are many medical conditions why the AST level in the blood can be higher than normal:

  • Cholestasis
  • Cholangitis
  • Hepatic cirrhosis
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver failure
  • Liver ischemia
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Wilson's disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Myocarditis
  • Mononucleosis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Hepatitis

What can I do to lower the AST level in the blood?

If your AST level in the blood is slightly high, you should keep in mind the following tips:

  • Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse can destroy liver cells. This is one of the main reasons for the AST elevation.
  • Cut down on or quit addictive drugs (illicit or prescribed): If you are a consumer of narcotics or psychotropic substances, you should stop taking them to avoid liver damage.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle: Regular physical activity helps maintain a healthful weight. Obesity plays a key role in the AST elevation.

Where can I find more information about AST in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high AST level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in U/L. They are an example of a healthy man of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

AST Aspartate Aminotransferase
Status
Mild AST hypertransaminasemia
51 U/L52 U/L53 U/L54 U/L55 U/L56 U/L57 U/L58 U/L
59 U/L60 U/L61 U/L62 U/L63 U/L64 U/L65 U/L66 U/L
67 U/L68 U/L69 U/L70 U/L71 U/L72 U/L73 U/L74 U/L
75 U/L76 U/L77 U/L78 U/L79 U/L80 U/L81 U/L82 U/L
83 U/L84 U/L85 U/L86 U/L87 U/L88 U/L89 U/L90 U/L
91 U/L92 U/L93 U/L94 U/L95 U/L96 U/L97 U/L98 U/L
99 U/L100 U/L101 U/L102 U/L103 U/L104 U/L105 U/L106 U/L
107 U/L108 U/L109 U/L110 U/L111 U/L112 U/L113 U/L114 U/L
115 U/L116 U/L117 U/L118 U/L119 U/L120 U/L121 U/L122 U/L
123 U/L124 U/L125 U/L126 U/L127 U/L128 U/L129 U/L130 U/L
131 U/L132 U/L133 U/L134 U/L135 U/L136 U/L137 U/L138 U/L
139 U/L140 U/L141 U/L142 U/L143 U/L144 U/L145 U/L146 U/L
147 U/L148 U/L149 U/L150 U/L    
Moderate AST hypertransaminasemia
151 U/L152 U/L153 U/L154 U/L155 U/L156 U/L157 U/L158 U/L
159 U/L160 U/L161 U/L162 U/L163 U/L164 U/L165 U/L166 U/L
167 U/L168 U/L169 U/L170 U/L171 U/L172 U/L173 U/L174 U/L
175 U/L176 U/L177 U/L178 U/L179 U/L180 U/L181 U/L182 U/L
183 U/L184 U/L185 U/L186 U/L187 U/L188 U/L189 U/L190 U/L
191 U/L192 U/L193 U/L194 U/L195 U/L196 U/L197 U/L198 U/L
199 U/L200 U/L201 U/L202 U/L203 U/L204 U/L205 U/L206 U/L
207 U/L208 U/L209 U/L210 U/L211 U/L212 U/L213 U/L214 U/L
215 U/L216 U/L217 U/L218 U/L219 U/L220 U/L221 U/L222 U/L
223 U/L224 U/L225 U/L226 U/L227 U/L228 U/L229 U/L230 U/L
231 U/L232 U/L233 U/L234 U/L235 U/L236 U/L237 U/L238 U/L
239 U/L240 U/L241 U/L242 U/L243 U/L244 U/L245 U/L246 U/L
247 U/L248 U/L249 U/L250 U/L    
Marked AST hypertransaminasemia
251 U/L252 U/L253 U/L254 U/L255 U/L256 U/L257 U/L258 U/L
259 U/L260 U/L261 U/L262 U/L263 U/L264 U/L265 U/L266 U/L
267 U/L268 U/L269 U/L270 U/L271 U/L272 U/L273 U/L274 U/L
275 U/L276 U/L277 U/L278 U/L279 U/L280 U/L281 U/L282 U/L
283 U/L284 U/L285 U/L286 U/L287 U/L288 U/L289 U/L290 U/L
291 U/L292 U/L293 U/L294 U/L295 U/L296 U/L297 U/L298 U/L
299 U/L300 U/L301 U/L302 U/L303 U/L304 U/L305 U/L306 U/L
307 U/L308 U/L309 U/L310 U/L311 U/L312 U/L313 U/L314 U/L
315 U/L316 U/L317 U/L318 U/L319 U/L320 U/L321 U/L322 U/L
323 U/L324 U/L325 U/L326 U/L327 U/L328 U/L329 U/L330 U/L
331 U/L332 U/L333 U/L334 U/L335 U/L336 U/L337 U/L338 U/L
339 U/L340 U/L341 U/L342 U/L343 U/L344 U/L345 U/L346 U/L
347 U/L348 U/L349 U/L350 U/L351 U/L352 U/L353 U/L354 U/L
355 U/L356 U/L357 U/L358 U/L359 U/L360 U/L361 U/L362 U/L
363 U/L364 U/L365 U/L366 U/L367 U/L368 U/L369 U/L370 U/L
371 U/L372 U/L373 U/L374 U/L375 U/L376 U/L377 U/L378 U/L
379 U/L380 U/L381 U/L382 U/L383 U/L384 U/L385 U/L386 U/L
387 U/L388 U/L389 U/L390 U/L391 U/L392 U/L393 U/L394 U/L
395 U/L396 U/L397 U/L398 U/L399 U/L400 U/L401 U/L402 U/L
403 U/L404 U/L405 U/L406 U/L407 U/L408 U/L409 U/L410 U/L
411 U/L412 U/L413 U/L414 U/L415 U/L416 U/L417 U/L418 U/L
419 U/L420 U/L421 U/L422 U/L423 U/L424 U/L425 U/L426 U/L
427 U/L428 U/L429 U/L430 U/L431 U/L432 U/L433 U/L434 U/L
435 U/L436 U/L437 U/L438 U/L439 U/L440 U/L441 U/L442 U/L
443 U/L444 U/L445 U/L446 U/L447 U/L448 U/L449 U/L450 U/L
451 U/L452 U/L453 U/L454 U/L455 U/L456 U/L457 U/L458 U/L
459 U/L460 U/L461 U/L462 U/L463 U/L464 U/L465 U/L466 U/L
467 U/L468 U/L469 U/L470 U/L471 U/L472 U/L473 U/L474 U/L
475 U/L476 U/L477 U/L478 U/L479 U/L480 U/L481 U/L482 U/L
483 U/L484 U/L485 U/L486 U/L487 U/L488 U/L489 U/L490 U/L
491 U/L492 U/L493 U/L494 U/L495 U/L496 U/L497 U/L498 U/L
499 U/L500 U/L      
Severe AST hypertransaminasemia
501 U/L502 U/L503 U/L504 U/L505 U/L506 U/L507 U/L508 U/L
509 U/L510 U/L511 U/L512 U/L513 U/L514 U/L515 U/L516 U/L
517 U/L518 U/L519 U/L520 U/L521 U/L522 U/L523 U/L524 U/L
525 U/L526 U/L527 U/L528 U/L529 U/L530 U/L531 U/L532 U/L
533 U/L534 U/L535 U/L536 U/L537 U/L538 U/L539 U/L540 U/L
541 U/L542 U/L543 U/L544 U/L545 U/L546 U/L547 U/L548 U/L
549 U/L550 U/L551 U/L552 U/L553 U/L554 U/L555 U/L556 U/L
557 U/L558 U/L559 U/L560 U/L561 U/L562 U/L563 U/L564 U/L
565 U/L566 U/L567 U/L568 U/L569 U/L570 U/L571 U/L572 U/L
573 U/L574 U/L575 U/L576 U/L577 U/L578 U/L579 U/L580 U/L
foto de Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante
Written by

Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante

Last update: 25/03/2020

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 531.
  • Thomas L. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Aspartate aminotransferase (AST). In:Thomas L, ed. Clinical laboratory diagnostics. Use and assessment of clinical laboratory results. Frankfurt/Main: TH-Books Verlagsgesellschaft, 1998:55-65 ISBN: 9783980521543.
  • Thomas L, Müller M, Schumann G et al. Consensus of DGKL and VDGH for interim reference intervals on enzymes in serum. J Lab Med 2005;29:301-08.
  • Painter PC, Cope JY, Smith JL. Chapter 50. Reference information for the clinical laboratory. In: Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, eds. Tietz textbook of clinical chemistry. Philadelphia:WB Saunders Company, 1999;1802pp. ISBN 9780721656106.
  • Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). Version 5.0.Published: November 27, 2017. U.S. Department of health and human Services. Disponible en: https://ctep.cancer.gov
  • Severity grading in drug induced liver injury. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Disponible en: https://livertox.nih.gov

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