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High (GGT) Gamma Glutamyltransferase level in the blood

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High (GGT) Gamma Glutamyltransferase level in the blood

What is high GGT level in the blood called?

  • High GGT

What is the normal level of GGT in the blood?

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

What does a high GGT level in the blood mean?

An elevated GGT level in the blood is the most widely used marker of heavy alcohol consumption. Although you were not a heavy drinker, a GGT elevation usually suggests a liver damage. It can be due to benign diseases like fatty liver or due to some issues of concern like hepatitis or cirrhosis.

High values of GGT in the blood can be seen in case of bile duct obstruction.

  • Mild GGT elevation (55 – 138 U/L in adult men, 38 - 95 U/L in adult women):

    Your GGT level in the blood is a bit high. It is often a consequence of alcohol consumption. 3 out of 4 person who drink too much alcohol has the GGT higher than normal.

    If you drink little or no alcohol, it can be due to the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is a very common disorder caused by a build-up of fat in the liver.

    There are many drugs that can interfere in the GGT level in the blood. For this reason, it is advisable to ask your doctor if you are under medication.

    Decrease your alcohol and tobacco consumption and prevent overweight. If you follow these tips, take a new blood test in a few months and the GGT level will probably be within the normal range.

  • Moderate GGT elevation (138 – 275 U/L in adult men, 95 - 190 U/L in adult women):

    A moderate GGT elevation in the blood requires a visit to your doctor. It may be a sign of liver damage due to infectious hepatitis.

    The GGT is closely related to alcohol consumption. Please, tell your doctor your alcohol daily consumption to help him about the possible diagnosis.

  • Marked GGT elevation (275 – 550 U/L in adult men, 190 - 380 U/L in adult women) :

    The GGT level in the blood is very high and it is necessary to know the causes.

    It may be due to multiple reasons:

    • If there is no other blood parameter out of range, it may be induced by excessive alcohol consumption.
    • If the alkaline phosphatase (ALT) is higher than normal it may be cirrhosis.
    • If the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is higher than normal, the AST is high and the ALT is high it may be a cause of a viral infection like hepatitis.
    • If the bilirubin level in the blood is high (above 2.8 mg/dL) it may be a bile duct obstruction (gallstones in the gallbladder)

    Pancreatitis or mononucleosis are also a possibility.

  • Severe GGT elevation (> 550 U/L in adult men, > 380 U/L in adult women):

    A severe GGT elevation is a matter of concern and a visit to your doctor is necessary. He can guide you based on your medical history.

    If the GGT level in the blood is 8 or 10 times above the normal range it may be due to a liver damage that requires a special attention.

    The GGT level in the blood above 500 U/L is usually a consequence of alcohol abuse. The GGT level in the blood above 700 U/L requires medical attention because it can lead to a sharp deterioration of your health.

Which factors can raise GGT blood levels?

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

  • Alcohol
  • Illicit drugs
  • Excess intake of magnesium
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco
  • Drugs
    • Antineoplastics
      • Methotrexate
    • Anticoagulants
      • Heparin
    • Antiepileptic drugs
      • Valproate
      • Carbamazepine
      • Phenytoin
    • Barbiturate
      • Phenobarbital
    • Cimetidine
    • Diuretics
      • Furosemide
    • Isotretinoin

Which diseases can raise your GGT level in the blood?

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

  • Cholestasis
  • Hepatic cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver failure
  • Liver ischemia
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Mononucleosis
  • Epstein–Barr virus
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Reye syndrome
  • Prostate cancer
  • Heart failure
  • Brucellosis

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

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

  • Reduce alcohol intake. The GGT level is sensible to alcohol consumption. If you cut down on your alcohol intake the GGT level will be reduced.
  • Give up smoking: It is good for your health and can reduce the GGT level.
  • Weight loss and do regular physical activity. Overweight contribute to increase the GGT level in the blood.

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

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high GGT 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.

GGT Gamma Glutamyltransferase
Status
Mild GGT elevation
56 U/L57 U/L58 U/L59 U/L60 U/L61 U/L62 U/L63 U/L
64 U/L65 U/L66 U/L67 U/L68 U/L69 U/L70 U/L71 U/L
72 U/L73 U/L74 U/L75 U/L76 U/L77 U/L78 U/L79 U/L
80 U/L81 U/L82 U/L83 U/L84 U/L85 U/L86 U/L87 U/L
88 U/L89 U/L90 U/L91 U/L92 U/L93 U/L94 U/L95 U/L
96 U/L97 U/L98 U/L99 U/L100 U/L101 U/L102 U/L103 U/L
104 U/L105 U/L106 U/L107 U/L108 U/L109 U/L110 U/L111 U/L
112 U/L113 U/L114 U/L115 U/L116 U/L117 U/L118 U/L119 U/L
120 U/L121 U/L122 U/L123 U/L124 U/L125 U/L126 U/L127 U/L
128 U/L129 U/L130 U/L131 U/L132 U/L133 U/L134 U/L135 U/L
136 U/L137 U/L138 U/L     
Moderate GGT elevation
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/L151 U/L152 U/L153 U/L154 U/L
155 U/L156 U/L157 U/L158 U/L159 U/L160 U/L161 U/L162 U/L
163 U/L164 U/L165 U/L166 U/L167 U/L168 U/L169 U/L170 U/L
171 U/L172 U/L173 U/L174 U/L175 U/L176 U/L177 U/L178 U/L
179 U/L180 U/L181 U/L182 U/L183 U/L184 U/L185 U/L186 U/L
187 U/L188 U/L189 U/L190 U/L191 U/L192 U/L193 U/L194 U/L
195 U/L196 U/L197 U/L198 U/L199 U/L200 U/L201 U/L202 U/L
203 U/L204 U/L205 U/L206 U/L207 U/L208 U/L209 U/L210 U/L
211 U/L212 U/L213 U/L214 U/L215 U/L216 U/L217 U/L218 U/L
219 U/L220 U/L221 U/L222 U/L223 U/L224 U/L225 U/L226 U/L
227 U/L228 U/L229 U/L230 U/L231 U/L232 U/L233 U/L234 U/L
235 U/L236 U/L237 U/L238 U/L239 U/L240 U/L241 U/L242 U/L
243 U/L244 U/L245 U/L246 U/L247 U/L248 U/L249 U/L250 U/L
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/L       
Marked GGT elevation
276 U/L277 U/L278 U/L279 U/L280 U/L281 U/L282 U/L283 U/L
284 U/L285 U/L286 U/L287 U/L288 U/L289 U/L290 U/L291 U/L
292 U/L293 U/L294 U/L295 U/L296 U/L297 U/L298 U/L299 U/L
300 U/L301 U/L302 U/L303 U/L304 U/L305 U/L306 U/L307 U/L
308 U/L309 U/L310 U/L311 U/L312 U/L313 U/L314 U/L315 U/L
316 U/L317 U/L318 U/L319 U/L320 U/L321 U/L322 U/L323 U/L
324 U/L325 U/L326 U/L327 U/L328 U/L329 U/L330 U/L331 U/L
332 U/L333 U/L334 U/L335 U/L336 U/L337 U/L338 U/L339 U/L
340 U/L341 U/L342 U/L343 U/L344 U/L345 U/L346 U/L347 U/L
348 U/L349 U/L350 U/L351 U/L352 U/L353 U/L354 U/L355 U/L
356 U/L357 U/L358 U/L359 U/L360 U/L361 U/L362 U/L363 U/L
364 U/L365 U/L366 U/L367 U/L368 U/L369 U/L370 U/L371 U/L
372 U/L373 U/L374 U/L375 U/L376 U/L377 U/L378 U/L379 U/L
380 U/L381 U/L382 U/L383 U/L384 U/L385 U/L386 U/L387 U/L
388 U/L389 U/L390 U/L391 U/L392 U/L393 U/L394 U/L395 U/L
396 U/L397 U/L398 U/L399 U/L400 U/L401 U/L402 U/L403 U/L
404 U/L405 U/L406 U/L407 U/L408 U/L409 U/L410 U/L411 U/L
412 U/L413 U/L414 U/L415 U/L416 U/L417 U/L418 U/L419 U/L
420 U/L421 U/L422 U/L423 U/L424 U/L425 U/L426 U/L427 U/L
428 U/L429 U/L430 U/L431 U/L432 U/L433 U/L434 U/L435 U/L
436 U/L437 U/L438 U/L439 U/L440 U/L441 U/L442 U/L443 U/L
444 U/L445 U/L446 U/L447 U/L448 U/L449 U/L450 U/L451 U/L
452 U/L453 U/L454 U/L455 U/L456 U/L457 U/L458 U/L459 U/L
460 U/L461 U/L462 U/L463 U/L464 U/L465 U/L466 U/L467 U/L
468 U/L469 U/L470 U/L471 U/L472 U/L473 U/L474 U/L475 U/L
476 U/L477 U/L478 U/L479 U/L480 U/L481 U/L482 U/L483 U/L
484 U/L485 U/L486 U/L487 U/L488 U/L489 U/L490 U/L491 U/L
492 U/L493 U/L494 U/L495 U/L496 U/L497 U/L498 U/L499 U/L
500 U/L501 U/L502 U/L503 U/L504 U/L505 U/L506 U/L507 U/L
508 U/L509 U/L510 U/L511 U/L512 U/L513 U/L514 U/L515 U/L
516 U/L517 U/L518 U/L519 U/L520 U/L521 U/L522 U/L523 U/L
524 U/L525 U/L526 U/L527 U/L528 U/L529 U/L530 U/L531 U/L
532 U/L533 U/L534 U/L535 U/L536 U/L537 U/L538 U/L539 U/L
540 U/L541 U/L542 U/L543 U/L544 U/L545 U/L546 U/L547 U/L
548 U/L549 U/L550 U/L     
Severe GGT elevation
551 U/L552 U/L553 U/L554 U/L555 U/L556 U/L557 U/L558 U/L
559 U/L560 U/L561 U/L562 U/L563 U/L564 U/L565 U/L566 U/L
567 U/L568 U/L569 U/L570 U/L571 U/L572 U/L573 U/L574 U/L
575 U/L576 U/L577 U/L578 U/L579 U/L580 U/L581 U/L582 U/L
foto de Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante
Written by

Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante

Last update: 26/03/2020

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 536.
  • Thomas L. Gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT). In:Thomas L, ed. Clinical laboratory diagnostics. Use and assessment of clinical laboratory results. Frankfurt/Main: TH-Books erlagsgesellschaft, 1998:80-86. 65 ISBN: 9783980521543.
  • Tietz NW, ed. Clinical guide to laboratory tests, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company,1995:286-87. . 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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