AST (Aspartate amino transferase)

AST (Aspartate amino transferase)

Species: All

Specimen: Plasma or serum

Container: EDTA, heparin or red top tube

Collection protocol: Fasted sample preferred.

Special handling/shipping requirements: Standard

General information about the disease: Liver (hepatocyte) or muscle injury

General information about when this test is indicated:

An indicator of damage to muscle (skeletal or cardiac) or liver cells. Also found in kidney. Present in cytosol and mitochondria. Increased significantly by muscle activity (e.g. seizure, or even exercise), in which case CK is also usually raised unless the injury is already resolving. In hepatocytes, found in higher concentrations in the periacinar zone. In dogs with hepatocellular injury increases tend to parallel ALT. If ALT (or GD in large animals) not raised, look for extrahepatic source. Short half-life in cats, so even small increases may be significant. Major differentials: Muscle: trauma or necrosis. Liver: circulatory disturbances (including anaemia), hepatotoxicity, infection, inflammation, neoplasia

Comparison with other related tests: See above