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ALT Levels and Liver Cancer

  I donated blood recently and a letter came back from the blood bank stating that they were unable to use the blood due to a high ALT level. Their upper limit for acceptance was 91 I.U. My test registered 115 I.U. I've called my doctor's office and a nurse assured me that although the normal level is from 6-30 I.U., unless there were other markers, I should wait until my next donation in December to see if the ALT is still high.
  My questions: I understand that various factors influence the ALT level in the liver. Does the level fluctuate from normal to high on a regular basis? Is is true that unless other markers are present (e.g., high AST level), that I should not be concerned?
Dear Joseph Stemp,
Liver tests do not fluctuate in the range that you describe.  The reason that your blood was rejected was that blood with ALT levels in this range are frequently associated with hepatitis C virus.  Your elevated liver tests may represent chronic liver inflammation due to Hepatitis C, although other causes must be considred e.g. alcohol-induced liver disease, hepic steatosis.  Your next step should be to have your blood checked for hepatitis B and C markers.
This information is presented for educational; purposes.  Always ask sprcific medical questions to youre personal physician.
*keywords: liver tests, hepatitis C

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