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Definition of ALT (alanine aminotransferase)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

ALT (alanine aminotransferase): An enzyme normally present in liver and heart cells that is released into the bloodstream when the liver or heart is damaged. The blood ALT levels are elevated with liver damage (for example, from viral hepatitis) or with an insult to the heart (for example, from a heart attack). Some medications can also raise ALT levels.

ALT is also called serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT).

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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