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Comprehensive metabolic panel test done. Aspartate aminotransferase level known. Meaning?

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I have a AST level of 91 from a comprehensive metabolic panel. I have an appointment with a GI Dr on Dec 1rst but want to know what this means now. What does this mean?
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 3 hours later
Hello and thank you for submitting your query.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some good information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

You have indicated that the blood test which reflects liver function called AST is mildly elevated. There are a number of considerations which need to be discussed in trying to find out the explanation for this finding.

The first consideration and the most unlikely cause of the elevation of this liver enzyme would be a viral type of hepatitis. This can be checked for with a very simple blood test. There are three main types of hepatitis and that would be hepatitis virus A, hepatitis virus B and hepatitis virus C. Again your doctor can check for these very easily. The hepatitis A virus typically causes a illness which includes a significant degree of diarrhea.

In addition another common cause for elevation of this enzyme is obesity. If you are significantly overweight it can sometimes cause fat to accumulate in the liver which causes the enzymes to be elevated.

The next consideration would be medications. There are several medications including cholesterol medications which can cause elevation of liver enzymes. In addition herbal preparations can sometimes cause elevation of this enzyme.

The next consideration would be alcohol. Alcohol is a very very common cause of elevation of this liver enzyme. If you drink more than two drinks per day on average this can cause a significant elevation of this enzyme.

Again I thank you for submitting your question. I think you should discuss all of these possibilities with your doctor. Your doctor may then perform some blood tests or possibly a liver ultrasound to evaluate how your liver looks. If for some reason there is evidence of fat in the liver or if this is related to obesity weight loss is the most common treatment. If there are medications or possible herbal preparations what you have been consuming these can be discontinued and your liver enzymes will return to normal. The mild elevation of deliverance on what you have indicated is certainly not life-threatening. I am glad to see at the same time that your doctor is thoroughly evaluating the situation.

If you have any additional concerns regarding his question I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert
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