liver enzymes levels, test- high/elevated liver enzymes

Mainly enzymes are proteins. Enzymes are found in body and they speed up by certain chemical reaction. Liver enzyme performs their job into the liver. Two major liver enzyme known as AST and ALT. Those liver enzyme pass into the bloodstream when liver become damage. When liver enzyme found in elevated level into blood after blood test, it means that liver become damage. Liver damage can occur due to virus infection such as hepatitis C virus and prescription and street drugs.

What is liver enzyme?

Liver enzyme means those enzymes that are found in liver. AST and ALT is two common liver enzyme. When liver cell become death due to any disorder, liver enzyme level become high into blood. So we can determine liver disease by blood test. Liver cell become die due to acute infection of hepatitis A and hepatitis B virus. Also liver can be inflamed by toxin as a from an overdose of acetaminophen.

What are liver enzymes

Enzymes are proteins found in your body that speed up certain chemical reactions. Liver enzymes perform these jobs within the liver. Two of the common ones are known as “AST” and “ALT.”

If the liver is damaged, AST and ALT pass into the bloodstream. When your doctor looks at the results from your blood tests, AST and ALT values are higher than normal if your liver is damaged.

The damage to the liver can come from viruses, such as the hepatitis C virus, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription and street drugs. If your VA doctor starts you on a certain medication, he or she may need to monitor your blood chemistries to make sure the medication is not causing further harm to your liver.

What are liver enzymes called

They’re proteins that help speed up a chemical reaction in the liver. Blood tests, called liver function tests or liver enzyme test , are used to evaluate various functions in the liver. Examples of these functions are metabolism, filtration and excretion and storage, which are often performed by liver enzymes. But not all liver enzyme test measure enzyme function.

Liver enzymes are found in normal plasma and serum and can be divided into different groups.

  1. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT). Together these enzymes are known as transaminases.
  2. Alkaline phosphatase (AP) and gammaglutamyl transferase (GGT) are known as cholestatic liver enzymes. If these enzymes are elevated it can indicate the presence of liver disease.
  3. Secretory enzymes are enzymes made in the liver and allocated to the blood plasma. Their role is physiological, for example, enzymes involved in blood clotting (AC globulin) or cholinesterase, which catalyzes the hydrolysis of acetylcholine. Damage to the liver will reduce their synthesis leading to a decrease in their enzyme activity.


There are enzymes that enter into the blood from the tissues to perform intracellular functions. Some of the enzymes are in the cell cytosol, such as ALT, AST and LDH, and others are in the cell mitochondria, such as GGT and AP. Any damage to the liver will cause the enzymes from the cells to enter the blood and their activity will increase. Amounts of ALT and AST are the greatest diagnostic value. In parenchymatous hepatitis serum transaminase ALT increases, sometimes 100 times or more and AST to a lesser extent. In addition to the liver, AST enzymes can be found in the heart, muscle, brain and kidney and is released into blood serum when these tissues become damaged. For example, a heart attack or muscle disorders will increase AST serum levels. Because of this AST isn’t necessarily an indicator of liver damage.ALT is almost specifically found in the liver. After liver injury it’s released into the bloodstream and therefore can be used as a fairly specific indicator of liver function.

Alkaline Phosphatase

Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme that’s produced in the bile ducts, kidney, intestines, placenta and the bone. If this enzyme is high and ALT and AST levels are pretty normal there could be a problem with the bile duct such as an obstruction. Some bone disorders may also cause alkaline phosphatase levels to increase. If there is an elevation of alkaline phosphatase it could also indicate there is an injury to the biliary cells. This could be due to gallstones or certain medications. Under normal circumstances the enzyme is mainly allocated to the bile, but if pathology exists the norm is disturbed and the enzyme increases in blood plasma.

Functions of liver enzyme

The major functions of liver enzyme are given below:

Function of liver enzyme ALT

ALT means alanine transaminase, it is a liver enzyme. ALT helps to metabolize protein. This liver enzyme become release into bloodstream when liver becomes damage. An increase level of ALT into blood may indicate hepatic disorder, liver tumor, infection or toxic hepatitis. Acute hemolytic anemia, myocardial infarction also may occur due to elevated level of liver enzyme into blood.

Function of liver enzyme ALP

ALP means alkaline phosphatase, it is another liver enzyme. This liver enzyme needed little amount for trigger specific chemical reaction. ALP normally present in liver, bone, kidney and intestine. Elevated level of ALP may indicate gallstone disease, drug induce hepatitis or biliary tumors.

Function of liver enzyme AST

AST means Aspartate transaminase. This liver enzyme plays an important role in the metabolism of amino acid alanine. Elevated level of AST may indicate active cirrhosis disease, infection or toxic hepatitis or acute hemolytic anemia. Crushing injuries, heart attack and tumor can occur due to increase of liver enzyme into blood.

Function of liver enzyme GGT

GGT means Gamma-glutamyl transferase. It is another common liver enzyme. This liver enzyme plays an important role in metabolism. The major function of GGT is transference of certain chemical groups. GGT transfer certain chemical groups from one molecule to another molecule. Elevated level of this liver enzyme may indicate liver or bile duct injury.

Function of LDH

LDH means Lactate dehydrogenase. This liver enzyme normally found in blood and body tissue. Major function of LDH is produce energy for cell. High level of LDH in blood indicates liver damage.

Causes of elevated liver enzyme

Major causes of elevated liver enzyme into blood are described below:

  1. Due to adrenal insufficiency.
  2. Alcohol abuses other major causes of elevated liver enzyme.
  3. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
  4. Another major cause of elevated liver enzyme is autoimmune disorder of the liver and the bile duct.
  5. Celiac disease alto responsible.
  6. Diabetes.
  7. Elevated accumulation of triglycerides.
  8. Due to excessive use of herbal supplement.
  9. Tumor into liver or bile duct.
  10. Disorder of thyroid gland.
  11. Obesity is another major causes of elevated liver enzyme.
  12. Wilson’s disease.
  13. Hemochromatosis disease.
  14. Due to inflammation of viral hepatitis.
  15. Medications including certain no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also responsible.

Normal result of liver enzyme

Normal result of liver enzyme is described below:

Lab result of AST (Aspartate Phosphatase)

This liver enzyme test is normally used to detect chronic liver problems or liver injury. AST can also release from heart. So that entire set of liver tests is needed to detect liver problems, not just one tests. The serum AST level become increase after myocardial infarction, liver inflammation, trauma into liver, after renal infract or in various hemolytic concision.

Normal level of AST:

Male: normal level of AST for male is 8-46 units/liter.

Female: normal level of AST for female is 7-34 units/liter.

Lab result of ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase)

This liver enzyme test use for detect long term liver disease. Elevated level of ALT indicates acute hepatitis from virus. . Some prescription and over-dose medications can cause an enhance in ALT levels. Levels of ALT can be dramatically exaggerated by aftershock, low blood pressure or any other situation that deprives the liver of blood and oxygen.

Normal level of ALT: 5-40 units per liter of blood serum.

All Comments

  • I have a rare liver disease which makes my liver very congested I feel ill every day and depression very bad too . Has anyone else feel the same feel so alone as its so rare can’t be treated.

    Angela January 16, 2017 6:53 am Reply

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