Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) Testing

How to check your Alanine Aminotransferase levels with a home fingerprick blood test kit

What Is An Alanine Aminotransferase Test For?

An Alanine Aminotransferase test is also known as a Serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) test.

The Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) Test allows you to accurately check your levels of Alanine Aminotransferase in a fingerprick blood sample.

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme mainly found in your liver. ALT is used by your body to break down food into energy, with levels in the blood normally low.

Following liver damage, the levels of ALT in your blood will rise making it a useful means to indicate liver problems.

Fluctuation of ALT levels is normal over the course of the day, and can also increase in response to strenuous physical exercise.

What If Alanine Aminotransferase Test Levels Are High?

What If Alanine Aminotransferase Test Levels Are High?

This does not automatically mean that medical problems exist.

ALT levels can be high when the liver is dealing with infection or even hard to digest foods. Strenuous exercise may increase ALT concentration as can certain drugs, like paracetamol or alcohol.

A moderately high ALT can also occur if you have fatty liver disease. The risk of this is increased by high alcohol intake, diabetes and increased serum triglycerides.

Persistently high levels of ALT are associated with numerous metabolic disorders and should be investigated further.

Very high concentrations of ALT greater than four times the highest normal level are usually due to chronic or acute hepatitis and you should seek medical advice immediately.

What If Alanine Aminotransferase Test Levels Are Low?

What If Alanine Aminotransferase Test Levels Are Low?

While most low ALT level results indicate a normal healthy liver, very low results could indicate a low or non functioning liver.

In the absence of other abnormal liver function tests a low result is unlikley to represent a problem. But if you are concerned or have other symptoms please review with a medical professional.

How To Test Alanine Aminotransferase?

Health testing for Alanine Aminotransferase levels in your blood

You can check your Alanine Aminotransferase levels by buying a home fingerprick blood test kit from just £39 using the following test kit:

Other Biomarkers Often Tested With Alanine Aminotransferase

Alanine Aminotransferase: Further Reading & Citations

To learn more about testing for Alanine Aminotransferase you may wish to review the following sources:

Valla DC. Unexplained chronic increase in transaminases. Hépato-Gastro 2003; 10: 257-263.

Pratt DS, Kaplan MM. Evaluation of abnormal liver enzyme results in asymptomatic patients. N Engl J Med 2000; 342: 1266-71

Lazo M, Selvin E, Lark JM. Clinical implications of short-term variability in liver function test results. Ann Intern Med 2008; 148: 348-352

Clark JM, Brancati FL, Diehl AM. The prevalence and etiology of elevated aminotransferase levels in the United States. Am J Gastroenterol 2003; 98: 960-967.

Pendino GM, Mariano A, Surace P, Caserta CA, Fiorillo MT, Amante A, et al. Prevalence and etiology of altered liver tests: a population-based survey in a Mediterranean town. Hepatology 2005; 41: 1151-9

Ruhl CE, Everhart J. Elevated serum alanine aminotransferase and -glutamyltransferase and mortality in the United States population. Gastroenterology 2009; 136: 477-485.

De Ledinghen V, Ratziu V, Causse X, Le Bail B, Capron D, Renou C et al. Diagnostic and predictive factors of significant liver fibrosis and minimal lesions in patients with persistent unexplained elevated transaminases. A prospective multicenter study. J Hepatol 2006; 45: 592-599.

Barbarian JC. Chronic elevation of transaminases: what to do when you haven't found anything? Post'U 2004: 31-46.

Hanachi M, Melchior JC, Crenn P. Hypertransaminasemia in severely malnourished adult anorexia nervosa patients. Risk factors and evolution under enteral nutrition. Clin Nutr 2012; (in press)

Bianchi L. Liver biopsy in elevated liver functions tests? An oldd question revisited. J Hepatol 2001; 35: 290-294.

Skelly MM, James PD, Ryder SD.Findings on liver biopsy to investigateabnormal liver function tests in the absence of diagnostic serology. J Hepatol 2001; 35: 195-199.
Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High BloOd Cholesterol in Adults Executive Summary of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) . JAMA 2001; 285 (19): 2486-97.

Gow PJ, Smallwood RA, Angus PW, Smith AL, Wall AJ, Sewell RB. Diagnosis of Wilson's disease: an experience over three decades. Gut 2000; 46: 415-9.

Ferenci et al. Late-Onset Wilson's Disease. Gastroenterology Vol. 132, No. 4.

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