Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)

Clinical Use: Raised in liver disease and myocardial and skeletal muscle damage.
Background: AST is present in most tissues and organs of the body, but in varying concentrations. High levels are found in heart muscle, liver and red cells, with smaller amounts in kidneys etc. In the absence of haemolysis, elevated levels are associated with disease of the heart and liver, and when measured in conjunction with CK, LDH and ALP can be virtually diagnostic. In myocardial infarction the peak height is a good indicator of the severity of the attack.
Reference Ranges: 1 – 45 U/l
Associated Diseases:

Higher than normal levels:

  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Acute renal failure
  • Hepatitis
  • Liver cancer
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Progressive muscular dystrophy
Patient Preparation:
Specimen Requirements: Sample type:

  • Serum or Lithium Heparin Plasma. Stable in serum for 7 days when stored at 2 – 8°C and 4 days when stored at 15 – 25°C

Sample identification:

  • Three patient identifiers from:
    • Name
    • D.O.B.
    • Address
    • N.H.S. number
    • Unit Number

    should match on the specimen and request form. This check may be performed prior to centrifugation by the Central Sort department.

Turnaround Time: 2 hours
Additional Information:
Referred Test: