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What is the cause of high levels of liver enzymes?

Q: During a regular check up, the doctor advised me for a blood test. The test results show that AST is 37 and ALT is 62. What does this mean? What precautions should I take? All other like results ALK and TBIL are normal. Is this indicative of any liver damage? I don't have any symptoms of illness except I feel tired and feverish, but the thermometer does not show any high temperature. Please advise.

A:Aspartate aminotransferase (serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase) is an enzyme which is found in the red blood cells, liver, heart, muscle, pancreas, kidneys etc. When there is damage to an organ or tissue, the enzyme is released from the damaged cells and its level in the blood rises. The amount of enzyme in the blood is directly proportional to the extent of tissue damage. The enzyme is usually measured (along with other enzymes and serum bilirubin) to help diagnose liver disease (e.g. hepatitis and cirrhosis) and monitor recovery from or treatment for liver disease. As its level is raised in many conditions, other tests are usually required to interpret an abnormal result. As the bilirubin is normal, there is no cause for worry and please do not bother about this mild elevation. Nothing further needs to be done unless you are symptomatic.


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