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Laboratory Medicine

Test Directory / Aspartate transaminase/ aminotransferase

Aspartate transaminase/ aminotransferase

Brown clotted serum, gel barrier or lithium heparin

TestAspartate transaminase/ aminotransferase
Common AbbreviationsAST
Tube typeBrown clotted serum, gel barrier or lithium heparin
Clinical IndicationMeasurement of AST is indicated in the diagnosis, differentiation and monitoring of hepatobiliary disease, myocardial infarction and skeletal muscle damage. AST may be increased in viral hepatitis and liver disease associated with hepatic necrosis. Increased AST levels may be detected in cirrhosis, extra hepatic cholestasis, progressive muscular dystrophy, dermatomyositis, acute pancreatitis, haemolytic disease, gangrene, crushed muscle injuries and pulmonary emboli. Slight or moderate increases of AST levels may also be observed after ingestion of alcohol or administration of drugs including penicillin, salicylates or opiates. An AST: ALT ratio >2 is typical of alcoholic liver disease but may also occur in non-alcoholic aetiologies and should be interpreted in the context of other findings.
Specimen TypeBlood
Sample typeSerum
Minimum Volume0.5mL If requesting more than 10 tests please send an additional brown clotted serum sample.
Special PrecautionsNo special requirements
Stability4 days at 15-25°C and 7 days at 2-8°C
Turnaround TimeInpatient: 4 hours Outpatient/ GP: 24 hours
LaboratoryYork and Scarborough
Reference IntervalMales: 0-35 IU/L Females: 0-31 IU/L
LimitationsAST is also raised in conditions involving cardiac or skeletal muscle damage, including recent intramuscular injections. Haemolysis falsely increases AST values. Highly lipemic samples may exceed the reaction absorbance. Sulfasalazine / Sulfapyridine (300mg/L, therapeutic dose) may lead to falsely low results (up to 24% negative bias); Furosemide can cause falsely high results; Isoniazid can cause falsely low results; Hydroxycobalamin / Cyanokit (cyanide antidote) may cause interfernce with results.
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