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SGOT Test Overview
SGOT test stands for serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase test. It forms a part of tests usually done to assess liver health status. The test measures serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase enzyme levels, also known as aspartate aminotransferase enzyme or AST. It forms a part of the commonly known liver function test and is a test that detects any underlying liver damage or injury.
SGOT stands for serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase. It is an enzyme that is produced by the liver, brain, muscles, pancreas and kidneys. SGOT test is also known as Aspartate Transaminase (AST) test.
An SGOT test is one of the tests included in the liver panel. You may be prescribed the entire liver panel test or just the SGOT test. It depends on the symptoms you show. It also depends on your medical history and the purpose of the test. Your doctor may suggest you undergo an SGOT test:
- To help determine how well the liver is functioning
- To diagnose liver diseases and liver damage.
- You are at risk of developing a liver disease like hepatitis C, jaundice or liver cirrhosis.
- Track the health of your liver following a treatment protocol.
- You have had a history of liver disease in the past.
- You are scheduled for surgery (to rule out complications during or post-surgery).
- You are experiencing cardiac arrest, brain damage or when your muscles are extremely stressed out.
Written by: Dr Selvi Radhakrishnan, PhD in Biochemistry, Dept. of Biochemistry
SGOT AST Serum Price
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The SGOT AST Serum Price in Mumbai is ₹ 220 .
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Frequently Asked Questions
An SGOT test can be advised based on the symptoms and suspected disease by the treating doctor.
Some symptoms based on which clinicians advise an SGOT test are:
- Yellowish discolouration of skin and eyes or jaundice.
- Dark coloured urine
- Light coloured stools
- Itching all over the body
- Pain in the right upper abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
This test can also be advised to assess the health of the liver in case of any pre-existing liver disease:
- Hepatitis (B, C, etc.)
- Fatty liver disease
- Cirrhosis of liver
- Liver cancer
- Wilson's disease
Sometimes, certain other causes, like excessive alcohol intake and cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins, could also lead to an increase in SGOT levels.
The SGOT enzyme is present in abundance within your liver cells, and any damage to these cells due to underlying liver disease can lead to leakage of these enzymes into the blood, thus increasing their levels in the blood, which can be detected by the SGOT test. Other organs like the kidneys and the heart also produce SGOT, but in a relatively smaller quantity.
By knowing your SGOT levels in the blood, you can understand your liver's condition and the extent of damage the liver has undergone due to any existing liver disease. However, you need to be careful while interpreting the SGOT levels and establishing a correlation with liver disease because, as mentioned earlier, SGOT is also produced in many other organs like kidneys, heart, and brain as well apart from the liver. Any damage to these organs can also lead to an increase in SGOT levels in the blood.
It is important to know that SGOT or AST test is usually done along with another important test for assessing the levels of liver enzyme ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase). ALT is a more specific test for identifying a liver disease because, unlike AST, ALT is not produced by any other organ and is primarily produced in the liver.
- The site for blood withdrawal for the SGOT test is commonly a vein situated in your arm.
- The phlebotomist will ask you to sit comfortably on a chair with your arm bent at the elbow joint.
- An elastic band will be tightened around your arm, and the vein will be located.
- The puncture site will be sterilised, and a small needle attached to a tube will be inserted into the vein to collect your blood.
- You will feel slight pain at the time of inserting the needle and some pain at the same site after removing the needle.
What are The Precautions That Need to be Taken?
- Make sure that you drink enough water before the test.
- Avoid taking any medication before the test without the advice of a doctor.
- Do inform your doctor before the test about any medications you are taking so that they consider the same while assessing your results.
- Stay calm and relaxed during blood withdrawal. This will prevent your muscles from tightening and make the procedure less painful.
After The Test
Once the results arrive, your doctor should be able to tell you the actual status of your liver health. However, at times, the results of the SGOT test might not be sufficient for your doctor to draw a clear conclusion or arrive at a confirmed diagnosis. In that case, some additional tests could be advised. These could be
- Bilirubin level assessment.
- Assessing the coagulation factor(s) level through the coagulation panel. It will evaluate the function of clotting-factor proteins produced in the liver.
- Estimating the platelet count: A deranged platelet level could be because of underlying liver disease.
- Ultrasound of the liver.
The normal range of an SGOT test is between 8 and 45 units per litre. There might be slight differences in the normal range values between different laboratories, and the normal range for each will be mentioned depending on the technique used.
If the SGOT test results are higher than the upper limit of the normal range, it could mean that any one or more organs producing the SGOT enzyme are damaged. While it could very much be your liver, the possibility of your heart, kidney, or brain being diseased could not be ruled out unless other tests are performed.
Generally increased levels of AST and/ or ALT are seen with conditions like:
- Chronic Hepatitis
- Liver cancer
In certain conditions, the levels are very high
- Acute Hepatitis
- Damage to the liver due to toxins
Other conditions where AST levels could be raised without the involvement of Liver
- Myocardial Infarction
SGOT is a simple blood test. It is done to evaluate the health of the liver. During instances of liver damage, heart attack, pancreatitis and kidney damage, the circulating serum levels of the enzyme increases. This indicates an abnormality. It is one of the tests included in the liver panel. The SGOT test provides information on abnormalities in the liver, heart, muscles, and brain. An SGPT test gives a definitive indication of liver health.
SGOT / AST test is a simple blood test. It does not take more than five minutes. During the test, your doctor may tie an elastic band on your upper arm. He may ask you to make a fist. This enables your doctor to spot the vein. It also makes it easy to draw blood. After drawing the blood, your blood will be stored in a vial. Then your serum will be separated from the plasma. The lab technician will then evaluate the level of SGOT in the serum.
Your doctor may ask you to refrain from taking certain drugs at least 48 hours before the test. This is because they may interfere with the test. However, it is better to tell your doctor about your medical history and the drugs that you take regularly, especially those that you take before and for 48 hours before the test.
The normal level of SGOT in the serum is 7 – 40 units per litre. If your levels are higher than this range, then it could mean that you have an underlying liver disease, a heart attack, acute pancreatitis or kidney damage. Depending on your health, your doctor may prescribe an SGPT test or any other test to get confirmative results.
No, it is just a simple blood test. It does not hurt. Your doctor only uses a needle to draw blood. This takes just about three to five minutes.
No, an abnormal test does not necessarily mean you have liver disease. Higher SGOT levels could also mean heart attack, muscle soreness, brain damage, kidney damage or pancreatitis.
Depending on your result, your doctor may prescribe you medication, and lifestyle changes. He may prescribe some other treatment measures to bring your levels under control. This is to ensure the health of the liver. It is always best to speak with your doctor about the prognosis to help him/her with drafting an appropriate treatment plan.
The number of times you will have to take an SGOT test depends on your health. After assessing your health, your doctor may suggest you take the test once every three months or a year. If your doctor has prescribed an SGOT test for you before undergoing surgery, you may or may not be required to take the test again.
People with the following symptoms should take an SGOT test:
As said earlier, the SGOT test helps in assessing the health of the liver. It may be difficult to track the symptoms of an unhealthy liver. However, listen to your body, observe unusual symptoms and speak with your doctor about them.
Some of the common symptoms that people with liver diseases experience are listed below:
· Poor appetite
· Changes in stool pattern, colour
· Digestive problems
· Yellow skin, eyes
· Discolouration or dark urine
· Unexplained nausea and vomiting
· Pain in the abdomen
Serum Glutamic-oxaloacetic Transaminase (SGOT)
Aspartate Transaminase (AST)
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)
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