This blood test measures an enzyme called aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Enzymes are chemicals that help the cells of your body work. AST is found in red blood cells, liver cells, and muscle cells, including the heart. It is released into the blood when these cells are damaged.
This enzyme is also called serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, or SGOT.
The AST level is measured to check the liver, kidneys, heart, pancreas, muscles, and red blood cells. This test is also done to check medical treatments that may affect the liver.
Having this test will take just a few minutes. A small amount of blood is taken from a vein in your child’s arm with a needle. The blood is collected in tubes and sent to a lab.
Ask your healthcare provider when and how you will get the result of the test.
Some of the reasons your child’s AST level may be higher than normal are:
No medical problems are known to cause an AST level that is lower than normal. Sometimes the test result may be lower than normal but it does not mean there is a problem.
Test results are only one part of a larger picture that takes into account your child’s medical history, physical exam, and current health. Sometimes a test needs to be repeated to check the first result. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about the results and ask questions, such as: