Hi, I just received my liver function test and am concerned. I am a social drinker who has no more than 2 glasses of wine maybe 4x a week (no hard liquor). My test results were GGT 105; ALT 154: AST 80...What does this indicate?
I quote one of the articles below - "But it must be emphasized that higher-than-normal levels of these liver enzymes should not be automatically equated with liver disease. They may mean liver problems or they may not. The interpretation of elevated AST and ALT levels depends upon the entire clinical evaluation of an individual, and so it is best done by physicians experienced in evaluating liver disease and muscle disease."
Wikipedia does discuss those sort of test results -
"Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) - Reference range 0 to 42 IU/L
Although reasonably specific to the liver and a more sensitive marker for cholestatic damage than ALP, Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) may be elevated with even minor, sub-clinical levels of liver dysfunction. It can also be helpful in identifying the cause of an isolated elevation in ALP. (GGT is raised in chronic alcohol toxicity).
Alanine transaminase (ALT) Reference range 9 to 40 IU/L
Alanine transaminase (ALT), also called Serum Glutamic Pyruvate Transaminase (SGPT) or Alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) is an enzyme present in hepatocytes (liver cells). When a cell is damaged, it leaks this enzyme into the blood, where it is measured. ALT rises dramatically in acute liver damage, such as viral hepatitis or paracetamol (acetaminophen) overdose. Elevations are often measured in multiples of the upper limit of normal (ULN).
Aspartate transaminase (AST) Reference range 10 to 35 IU/L
Aspartate transaminase (AST) also called Serum Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase (SGOT) or aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT) is similar to ALT in that it is another enzyme associated with liver parenchymal cells. It is raised in acute liver damage, but is also present in red blood cells, and cardiac and skeletal muscle and is therefore not specific to the liver. The ratio of AST to ALT is sometimes useful in differentiating between causes of liver damage. Elevated AST levels are not specific for liver damage, and AST has also been used as a cardiac marker."
Medecinenet.com discusses what they may mean -
"AST (SGOT) and ALT (SGPT) are sensitive indicators of liver damage or injury from different types of diseases. But it must be emphasized that higher-than-normal levels of these liver enzymes should not be automatically equated with liver disease. They may mean liver problems or they may not. For example, elevations of these enzymes can occur with muscle damage. The interpretation of elevated AST and ALT levels depends upon the entire clinical evaluation of an individual, and so it is best done by physicians experienced in evaluating liver disease and muscle disease.
Moreover, the precise levels of these enzymes do not correlate well with the extent of liver damage or the prognosis (outlook). Thus, the exact levels of AST (SGOT) and ALT (SGPT) cannot be used to determine the degree of liver disease or predict the future. For example, individuals with acute viral hepatitis A may develop very high AST and ALT levels (sometimes in the thousands of units/liter range). But most people with acute viral hepatitis A recover fully without residual liver disease. Conversely, people with chronic hepatitis C infection typically have only a little elevation in their AST and ALT levels while having substantial liver injury and even advanced scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)."
I am not a doctor or in the medical field in any capacity. I am merely a patient so, please, keep that in mind when you read my post.
I think you should follow up with a gastroenterologist or, if one is available, a hepatologist.
While it is true that elevated liver enzymes don't always mean there is a liver problem, in a a great number of cases there is a liver problem. Many cases of liver disease are discovered because routine blood-work shows elevated liver enzymes.
Though elevated ALT/AST are not determinative of a liver disorder they are highly suggestive.
"....Because AST is found in many other organs besides the liver, including the kidneys, the muscles, and the heart, having a high level of AST does not always (but often does) indicate that there is a liver problem. For example, even vigorous exercise may elevate AST levels in the body. On the other hand, because ALT is found primarily in the liver, high levels of ALT almost always indicate that there’s a problem with the liver. (Conversely, a normal ALT level does not necessarily mean that the liver is definitely normal- but, more about this later.)..."
I don't think your numbers are reason for panic but they do warrant follow up care with a specialist.
I have recently had a liver test with the following results - GGT 79, AST 43 and ALT 131. Can someone fill me in on how serious this reads? I had the test 8/7/13 and stopping drinking alcohol as soon as I got the results.
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