What’s an SGPT test/ALT?
This is a blood test that measures an enzyme made in the liver called Alanine Transaminase (ALT). It is released into the blood when tissues are damaged. This enzyme is also called serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT).
Why is this test done
ALT/SGPT test checks and measures liver damage. It also checks the effects of cholesterol-lowering medications that affect the liver. Liver diseases are amongst the most severe diseases in India, and around ten lakh new patients are diagnosed each year. According to World Health Organization (WHO), it is the tenth most common cause of death in India. Diagnosing a liver disease at its initial stages can enable a better treatment plan.
How the SGPT test is done to detect liver disorder?
It is similar to any other blood test where the blood is drawn from a vein in the arm.
What does high ALT level signify?
Here are some reasons why your ALT level can be higher than the standard range:
Liver damage due to acute viral infections such as hepatitis
Liver damage due to the medicine intake
Consumption of excess alcohol
Liver or gallbladder disease including liver cancer, liver failure and gallstones
Who should get SGPT test done?
Individuals with a history of hepatitis viruses exposure
Individuals with a family history of liver diseases
Individuals who consume liver-damaging drugs
Individuals who are overweight and/or have diabetes
What symptoms to observe that may require SGPT test?
Loss of appetite
How long it takes to get the results?
The blood samples are processed within a few hours or a day to get the results. If the test shows positive signs, the doctor may advise you for additional tests to figure out the exact problem.
Are these tests safe?
The ALT test is safe with minimal risks. Some might experience lightheadedness for some time.
How to prepare for the test?
Some medications known to interfere with the test results are to be avoided before the test. Your doctor should be aware of all the supplements, herbs or medicines you take and you should also consult with him before stopping any of your regular medications.