ALT, which stands for alanine transaminase, is an enzyme found mostly in the liver. When liver cells are damaged, they release ALT into the bloodstream. An ALT test measures the amount of ALT in the blood. High levels of ALT in the blood can indicate a liver problem, even before you have signs of liver disease, such as jaundice, a condition that causes your skin and eyes to turn yellow. An ALT blood test may be helpful in early detection of liver disease.
Other names: Alanine Transaminase (ALT), SGPT, Serum Glutamic-Pyruvic Transaminase, GPT
Your health care provider may have ordered liver function tests, including an ALT blood test, as part of a routine exam or if you have symptoms of liver damage. These may include:
An ALT blood test is often part of liver function testing. Liver function tests measure several different proteins, substances, and enzymes and can determine how well your liver is working. Your health care provider may compare your ALT results with the results of other liver tests to help learn more about your liver function. High levels of ALT may indicate liver damage from hepatitis, infection, cirrhosis, liver cancer, or other liver diseases.
Other factors, including medicines, can affect your results. Be sure to tell your health care provider about all the prescription and over-the counter medicines you are taking.