Aspartate Aminotransferase AST is also called SGOT (serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase). The SGO is often performed as part of a full liver function panel that includes other liver enzyme tests. It is a blood test that checks for liver damage. AST is also called SGOT (serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase).
An AST test measures the level of aspartate aminotransferase, also called AST or SGOT. AST is one of the enzymes that help the liver convert food into energy. Looking at AST levels along with those of other liver enzymes — such as ALT and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) — can give doctors more specific information about liver problems.
The AST test is often performed as part of a full liver function panel that includes other liver enzyme tests. No special preparations are needed for this test. You should tell your doctor about any medications your child is taking because certain drugs might alter the test results. On the day of the test, having your child wear a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt can make things faster and easier for the technician who will be drawing the blood.
- clean the skin
- put an elastic band (tourniquet) above the area to get the veins to swell with blood
- insert a needle into a vein (usually in the arm inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand)
- pull the blood sample into a vial or syringe
- take off the elastic band and remove the needle from the vein
Normally, AST levels in your blood are low. When your liver is damaged, it puts more AST into your blood and your levels rise. The normal range of an SGOT test is generally between 8 and 45 units per liter of serum. In general, men may naturally have higher amounts of AST in the blood. A score above 50 for men and 45 for women is high and may indicate damage. Extremely high levels of AST or ALT indicate conditions that cause severe liver damage.