What makes sgot and sgpt high

What does the SGOT blood test mean?

The SGOT test is a blood test. It helps determine how well the liver is working by measuring levels of aspartate aminotransferase in the blood. Too much of this enzyme can indicate a problem, such as liver damage.

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is an enzyme found primarily in the liver and heart. To a lesser extent, it is also present in other parts of the body, including the kidneys and muscles. This enzyme is also called serum glutamate oxaloacetic acid transaminase (SGOT).

Most people have small amounts of this enzyme. However, when liver cells are damaged or injured, they secrete extra AST into the blood.

Fast facts on SGOT tests:

  • The enzyme known as SGOT helps liver cells function. It also helps the heart and kidneys, to a lesser extent.
  • SGOT also helps the heart and kidneys to a lesser extent.
  • Low blood SGOT is relatively common and not a cause for concern.

Healthy SGOT areas

When the test results are in, a person's SGOT ranges can be classified as normal, high, or low. These ranges vary depending on the gender of the person. Normal ranges also differ between laboratories.

However, doctors tend to accept the following areas as normal:

  • Men: 10 to 40 units per liter (U / L)
  • Women: 9 to 32 U / L

What do the results mean?

The doctor may check the levels of another liver enzyme at the same time. This enzyme is called alanine aminotransferase (ALT). If both ALT and SGOT are high, it could mean that a person has one of the following conditions:

  • extensive liver damage from toxins such as alcohol or over-the-counter pain relievers
  • acute hepatitis
  • Gallbladder disease
  • cancer
  • in pregnant women, preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome, which is defined by its properties hemolysis, increased liver enzymes and low platelet count.

High SGOT values ​​without high ALT values ​​can indicate the following problems:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Heart damage, possibly from a heart attack
  • Kidney disease
  • Muscle injuries

If the results of the test show high levels of SGOT, the liver or another organ that produces the enzyme may be damaged from illness or injury.

Why is the SGOT test done?

Doctors use the SGOT test primarily to check and evaluate liver problems. The SGOT protein is mainly made in the liver. When the liver is damaged or sick, SGOT can enter the bloodstream from the liver. When this happens, blood levels are higher than normal.

When a person has heart or kidney problems, SGOT levels can be particularly high. To solve these problems, doctors often order the second liver enzyme ALT at the same time. If both levels are high, it suggests a problem with a person's liver. If only SGOT values ​​are high, it may indicate a problem with another organ or system.

Usually doctors order the test if they suspect a person has any of the following conditions:

  • hepatitis
  • cirrhosis
  • Liver damage caused by alcoholism
  • Liver damage caused by drugs

How is the SGOT test done?

The SGOT test is very simple and a person can expect it to be like any other blood test. A technician will put the person in a chair and tie an elastic band around their arm.

The technician will then examine the arm for a suitable vein. After they find the vein, they clean the area with an alcohol swab.

The technician will then insert a small needle into the vein and collect blood. The draw won't be long, just a few minutes.

When an ampoule fills with blood, the technician removes the needle and instructs the person to hold a gauze against the puncture site. The technician will remove the elastic band and secure the gauze with medical tape.


Since the SGOT test is simple, no special preparation is required. However, a person can take steps to ensure that the test goes smoothly.

Avoid over-the-counter medications, including pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, for 2 days before the SGOT test. If the test is done without notice, a person should let their doctor know that they have recently taken over-the-counter medications.

Stay hydrated before any blood test. Drinking plenty of water on the day of the test may make it easier for the blood to be drawn.

Wear a loose fitting or short-sleeved shirt to facilitate access to the veins in the elbow.


As with any blood test, there are very few risks associated with the SGOT test. They include:

  • Bleeding at the point where the blood was drawn
  • minor bruises
  • to feel weak

A person is less likely to feel weak when they are well hydrated. Bleeding and bruising on the site are usually very minor and tend to resolve on their own.

Follow-up tests

A doctor will often order tests that match or follow the SGOT test. This is to ensure a correct diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment. These tests can include:

  • Platelet count: Low platelet counts could indicate liver disease or HELLP syndrome during pregnancy.
  • Coagulation panel: This measures the function of coagulation-relevant proteins that the liver produces.
  • Complete metabolic panel: Assess how well the kidneys and liver are working and how high the electrolyte level is.
  • Bilirubin test: This tests the by-product that is made when the liver breaks down red blood cells.
  • Glucose test: when the liver is not working well, glucose levels may be low.

A doctor can take a closer look at a person's liver with an ultrasound scan. The extent of the follow-up examination will depend on a person's results.