Q:

What does low SGPT mean?

A:

Low SGPT is normally found in the blood and it often indicates a healthy liver. SGPT is now also called Alanine Aminotransferase, or “ALT.” A test for ALT measures how much damage is in a liver.

An alanine aminotransferase test shows how much of the enzyme shows up in the blood. The enzyme shows up in livers, but a person’s kidney, pancreas, muscles and heart contain some of the enzyme as well. Damaged or diseased livers release this enzyme into a person’s blood, increasing the levels. In most cases, an elevated level of the enzyme means that the liver is damaged. Physicians primarily perform the test in order to check for cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol, viruses or drugs. The test may also check for hepatitis or any other condition that damages the liver.

If someone has jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and eyes, testing ALT levels helps to determine whether liver disease or a disorder in the blood caused the condition. Medication such as those that lower cholesterol can sometimes damage the liver, so testing for levels of the enzyme in this situation is important to monitor whether the drug is leaving the liver alone or not.


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