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Elevated AST, ALT, liver enzymes, alcoholic. How long does it take for values to return to normal if I quit drinking ?

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AST is 43; ALT is 67. How long does it take for the values to return to normal if I quit drinking?
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Liver and Gall Bladder
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 36 minutes later
Hello,

Thanks for your query.

Important points of your query:
•     62 year old female
•     History of alcohol use
•     Increase ALT and AST level on liver function test
•     Known case of breast cancer
•     Currently taking lisinopril

Normal range for ALT 10-40, AST 10-35. So from your reports it is clear that ALT and AST levels are elevated. ALT and AST elevate in presence of parenchymal damage because of alcohol use and they return in normal range after stoppage of alcohol.

Alanine transaminase (ALT), also called Serum Glutamic Pyruvate Transaminase (SGPT) is an enzyme present in hepatocytes (liver cells). When a cell is damaged, it leaks this enzyme into the blood, where it is measured. ALT rises dramatically in acute liver damage, such as viral hepatitis or paracetamol (acetaminophen) overdose.

Aspartate transaminase (AST) is similar to ALT in that it is another enzyme associated with liver parenchymal cells. It is raised in acute liver damage, but is also present in red blood cells, and cardiac and skeletal muscle and is therefore not specific to the liver. The ratio of AST to ALT is sometimes useful in differentiating between causes of liver damage. Elevated AST levels are not specific for liver damage, and AST has also been used as a cardiac marker and in certain cancers.

The AST/ALT ratio is sometimes useful in differentiating between causes of liver damage (hepatotoxicity).
-When greater than 2.0, it is more likely to be associated with alcoholic hepatitis
-When less than 1.0, it is more likely to be associated with viral hepatitis

The ratio is less useful in scenarios where the liver enzymes are not elevated, or where multiple conditions co-exist as in your case you have breast cancer which can increase level of these enzymes.

In usual cases without complication liver enzymes return to normal within few month but there is gross individual variation regarding exact duration.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wishing you Good Health.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Elevated AST, ALT, liver enzymes, alcoholic. How long does it take for values to return to normal if I quit drinking ? 47 minutes later
How long does it take to return to normal? Like in 3 months? Or sooner? Would it be safe to have 1 drink a day or should I wait til tests are normal?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 6 hours later
Hello again,

As I told there is gross individual variation regarding exact duration when test will return to normal after stoppage of alcohol use. It may take 1 month to 1 year.

Regarding alcohol: do not drink till these level returns to normal.

Wishing you Good Health.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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