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ASAT, or aspartate aminotransferase, indicates the condition of the liver

High ASAT may indicate tissue damage in important organs.


  • The ASAT value indicates the state of health of tissues.
  • ASAT increases during acute inflammations and in the case of tissue damage.
  • The ASAT test allows for assessing the state of health of the heart, pancreas and liver.
  • High ASAT can be restored to normal by treating the cause of the high level.

What is aspartate aminotransferase?

ASAT, or aspartate aminotransferase, is an enzyme found in the liver, pancreas and heart. Its concentration is increased in the case of tissue damage to important organs, such as cirrhosis of the liver or myocardial infarction. The enzyme enters the bloodstream as a result of the damage.

The aspartate aminotransferase level can also be high, for example, in the case of hepatitis and pancreatitis.

Aspartate aminotransferase is an enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of alpha-ketoglutarate into oxaloacetate and glutamate in the body. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that stimulates brain activity and is involved in nerve cell growth, differentiation, learning and movement regulation.

Oxaloacetate has several functions in the body. For example, it acts as a precursor in gluconeogenesis, a process that takes place in the liver and in the cortex of the kidney, where glucose is made from substances other than carbohydrates.

The highest concentrations of this enzyme are found in the liver, heart muscle and muscles, i.e. the organs where metabolism is rapid. The concentration increases in the case of acute diseases and heart muscle damage.


The result of the ASAT study says a lot about the tissues’ state of health as a high value indicates the breakdown of the tissues.

The ASAT value can be used to determine the following diseases:

The reference values for ASAT

Men have, on average, slightly higher ASAT levels than women. The ASAT level increases with age. The level is usually higher in the case of obesity.

Reference levels may vary depending on the laboratory and the test analysis method.

What are the reasons for abnormal ASAT levels?


The ratio of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase can be interpreted to determine the quality of hepatitis as follows:

A high ASAT/ALAT ratio may also be due to extrahepatic tissues. The ratio is often high in the case of muscular dystrophy, muscle exertion, pulmonary embolism and kidney infection.

Treatment of high ASAT

The aim is to restore the abnormal ASAT value close to the reference value by treating the condition that causes the increase. If the high value is due to alcohol consumption, drinking must be stopped. If the high value is due to another disease, treating the disease decreases the value.



This page contains the most frequently asked questions and answers.

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