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Aspartate aminotransferase, or ASAT, is an enzyme that is present in high amounts in the cardiac muscle, skeletal muscles, and liver cells, and in smaller amounts in red blood cells and the pancreas and kidneys. When damage occurs in tissue that contains aspartate aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase is released into the bloodstream, and its concentration increases directly in proportion to the amount of damaged cells.

When is a good time to measure ASAT levels?

An ASAT test is a good idea in connection with the following symptoms, for example:

  • Yellowness of the skin
  • Sudden severe pain in the upper abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhoea
  • High alcohol consumption
What does the ASAT test measure?

The aspartate aminotransferase test measures the concentration of the ASAT enzyme in the bloodstream. The test is usually made when suspecting a possible liver disease, such as liver cirrhosis or viral hepatitis. The ASAT concentration also increases in connection with damage to skeletal muscles and the heart muscle. Creatine kinase (CK), however, is a better indicator of muscle damage.

Normally, the result is:

Reference value:

  • Women: 15–35 U/l
  • Men: 15–45 U/l

The ASAT value reacts quickly and increases after cell damage, reaches a peak within 24–36 hours, and returns to a normal level within 3–7 days. In chronic cell damage, the ASAT concentration can be permanently above the reference range.

Read more about defining reference values.

Please contact your physician or other healthcare professional if you suspect an illness or need help interpreting the results.

ASAT concentration is increased in the following situations, among others:

  • Liver damage
  • Heart failure
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Muscle damage
  • Sepsis
  • Leukaemia
  • Renal infarction
  • Use of certain medications
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Oral contraceptives

In patients treated for renal failure, the ASAT value can be low.

  • Alkaline phosphatase is elevated in liver and bone diseases (1046 S-AFOS)
  • Bilirubin is formed by the breakdown of red blood cells and is a test for liver and bile duct diseases (1185 S-Bil)
  • Gamma-glutamyl transferase is a sensitive indicator of liver diseases (1489, S-GT)
  • Alanine aminotransferase, indicator of liver cell damage (1026 S-ALAT)
  • Creatinine indicates kidney function (2143 S-Krea)

SYNLAB test list: Aspartate aminotransferase (1128 S-ASAT, 4591 P-ASAT) https://www2.synlab.fi/laboratoriokasikirja/tutkimuskuvaukset/asat/

SYNLAB tests: Aspartate aminotransferasehttps://www.yml.fi/tuotekuvaus_show.php?tuotenro=41

Terveyskirjasto health library: Aspartaattiaminotransferaasi https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/terveyskirjasto/tk.koti?p_artikkeli=ltt00306&p_hakusana=aspartaattiaminotransferaasi


Fasting is not required

This examination does not require fasting