Aspartate Aminotransferase, or AST, is an enzyme found mostly in the liver. Damage to the liver can cause AST to leak into the bloodstream. This test can be used by a healthcare provider along with other factors to evaluate the health of your liver.
An increased AST level can be a sign of liver disease, such as inflammation (hepatitis) or scarring (cirrhosis). However, multiple factors can lead to elevated AST levels, such as intense exercise, certain medications and menstruation. Because many factors can influence AST levels, the test alone cannot identify the underlying cause. We encourage you to share your result with your own primary care provider, who can consider your individual factors when evaluating your test results and recommending the appropriate next steps.