Alanine Aminotransferase

Alternate Names

  • Known previously as: SGPT (Serum Glutamic-Pyruvic Transaminase)

ALT is an enzyme that is found mainly in the liver. ALT is also found in the heart, kidneys, and muscles in lower amounts. When the liver is injured or diseased, it will release large amounts of ALT into the blood. ALT levels are very specific to liver function and liver disease.

ALT/AST ratio (DeRitis ratio) is used to diagnose liver disease. A ratio less than 1 indicates liver disease not caused by a virus, while a ratio greater than 1 indicates viral hepatitis.


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