Last updated on: 25.07.2023

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ALT refers to an enzyme that catalyzes a reversible transamination between L- alanine and 2- oxoglutarate to pyruvate and L- glutamate (Gressner 2012).

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ALT, together with the enzyme AST (GOT), is also referred to as "transaminases" (Kindermann 2007).

General information
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ALT, together with AST (GOT) and GLDH (glutamate dehydrogenase), are indicators of liver cell damage (Herold 2022).

ALT itself represents a liver-specific enzyme (Herold 2022). It is localized 85% in the cytosol and 15% in the mitochondria of the liver cell (Halwachs- Baumann 2011).

The ALT- normal value is < 35 U / l in women and < 45 U / l in men (Lohmann 2020).

An increase in ALT is a clear indication of liver or biliary disease (Lohmann 2020).

Otherwise, it can be caused by:

- physical stress

In this case, there is only a slight increase in ALT - in contrast to AST, which can rise sharply due to physical activity (Kindermann 2007).

- acute hepatitis

- biliary tract diseases

- (toxic) liver damage (Lohmann 2020)

- Steatohepatitis (Halwachs- Baumann 2011).

Regarding the cause of steatohepatitis, the quotient AST / ALT (GOT / GPT) plays a role: if this is < 1, it is an indication of a non-alcoholic cause; if, on the other hand, it is ≥ 2, it indicates an alcohol-related steatohepatitis (Halwachs- Baumann 2011).

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  1. Gressner A M, Arndt T (2012) Lexikon der Medizinischen Laboratoriumsdiagnosti. Volume 1 - clinical chemistry. Springer Verlag Germany / New York 31
  2. Halwachs- Baumann G (2011) Laboratory medicine: clinic - practice - case studies. Springer Verlag Vienna / New York 94, 114
  3. Herold G et al (2022) Internal medicine. Herold Publishers 516
  4. Kasper D L, Fauci A S, Hauser S L, Longo D L, Jameson J L, Loscalzo J et al (2015) Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. Mc Graw Hill Education
  5. Kindermann W, Dickhuth H H, Nieß A, Röcker K, Urhausen A (2007) Sports cardiology: physical activity in heart disease. Steinkopff Verlag Darmstatdt 121
  6. Lohmann M (2020) Understanding laboratory values: blood, urine and stool analyses, normal values at a glance, technical terms and important abbreviations. Mankau- Verlag Murnau Chapter: Physical disorders and organ diseases.

Outgoing links (3)

Acute hepatitis; Ast; Gldh;

Last updated on: 25.07.2023