Aspartate aminotransferase is an enzyme found in red blood cells, the kidneys, muscles, the heart, the pancreas and in the liver and is used to detect liver damage.  The aspartate aminotransferase blood test is called the AST test and is measuring the aspartate aminotransferase in the blood.  Normally, the AST blood test results are compared with the results of the alanine aminotransferase blood test (ALT).

In most cases, if you compare the AST results to the ALT results, the AST levels will be lower and doctors expect the AST levels to be low.

NORMAL LEVELS OF AST

Normal levels are expected to be 10 to 35 units per liter (U/L).

HIGHER THAN NORMAL LEVELS OF AST

If the levels of AST are higher, this can be an indication of the following:

Chronic or acute hepatitis
Exposure to substances toxic to the liver

Inhibited blood flow to the liver (Ischemia)
Heart damage

Excessive doses of Vitamin A

Kidney damage

Lung damage

Mononucleosis

Cancer