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Home > Blog > SGOT Test - Overview, Purpose, High & Low Levels

SGOT Test - Overview, Purpose, High & Low Levels

SGOT Test - Overview, Purpose, High & Low Levels

Max Lab

Jul 25, 2023

Welcome to our blog post on the SGOT test! If you're curious about this important medical procedure and how it can help assess your liver health, then you've come to the right place. Whether you're experiencing unexplained symptoms or simply want to monitor your liver function, understanding the purpose and significance of an SGOT test is essential. In this article, we'll delve into what exactly an SGOT test entails, why it's done, and what high and low levels of SGOT may indicate. 

What is an SGOT test

The SGOT test, also known as Serum Glutamic-Oxaloacetic Transaminase or AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase) test, is a diagnostic tool used to measure the levels of an enzyme called SGOT in the blood. This enzyme is primarily found in liver cells but can also be present in other organs such as the heart and muscles.

Why is an SGOT test done?

One common reason for conducting an SGOT test is to diagnose liver damage or disease. Elevated levels of SGOT in the blood may indicate various liver conditions such as viral hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, or even drug-induced liver injury.

Additionally, an SGOT test can be performed to monitor individuals who are taking medications that have potential hepatotoxic effects. Regular monitoring helps assess any adverse effects on the liver caused by these drugs.

Furthermore, this test can be used to evaluate heart health. Increased levels of SGOT may suggest cardiac issues like myocardial infarction (heart attack) or congestive heart failure.

In some cases where patients experience muscle-related symptoms such as weakness or pain without apparent cause, an elevated level of SGOT may assist in diagnosing muscular disorders or injuries.

What do High and Low Levels of SGOT Indicate?

High and low levels of SGOT, or serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, can provide valuable insights into a person's health. Elevated SGOT levels generally indicate liver damage or injury. This could be due to various factors such as hepatitis, alcohol abuse, certain medications, or other liver diseases.

When the liver is damaged or inflamed, it releases SGOT into the bloodstream. Higher than normal SGOT levels may suggest acute hepatitis, which is an inflammation caused by a viral infection. Chronic hepatitis B or C can also lead to elevated SGOT levels.

On the other hand, low levels of SGOT are less common but can indicate significant liver dysfunction or damage. It may occur in conditions like cirrhosis where there is extensive scarring of the liver tissue and impaired function.

It's important to note that while high and low levels of SGOT can give us clues about potential underlying health issues related to the liver, further diagnostic tests are usually required for an accurate diagnosis. Consulting with a healthcare provider is crucial for proper evaluation and appropriate management based on individual circumstances.

How is an SGOT test done?

The SGOT test, also known as the serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase test, is a simple blood test that measures the levels of SGOT in your bloodstream. To perform this test, a healthcare professional will clean the area where they will draw blood from and then insert a small needle into one of your veins. The amount of blood needed for this test is usually minimal, so you don't have to worry about feeling weak or light headed afterwards.

Once the blood sample has been collected, it will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. In the lab, technicians will use specialized equipment to measure the level of SGOT in your blood. They may compare these results with reference ranges to determine if your levels are within normal limits or if there are any abnormal findings.

It's important to note that before having an SGOT test done, you may need to follow certain instructions from your healthcare provider. These instructions could include fasting for a specific period of time or avoiding certain medications that might affect the accuracy of the results.

Getting an SGOT test done is a straightforward process that provides valuable information about your liver health. If you have any concerns or questions about this procedure, be sure to talk to your doctor who can provide further guidance and address any doubts you may have.

What are the Risks of an SGOT test?

One possible risk is the discomfort or pain that may occur when the needle is inserted into the vein for blood collection. Some individuals might experience bruising or swelling at the site of the injection. However, these side effects are usually temporary and will resolve on their own.

In rare cases, more serious complications such as infection or bleeding can occur. It's important to ensure that proper sterile techniques are followed during blood sample collection to minimize these risks.
Additionally, some people may feel lightheaded or dizzy after having blood drawn for an SGOT test. This can be due to anxiety, low blood sugar levels, or simply a natural reaction to seeing blood being drawn. It's recommended to relax and take deep breaths during the procedure to reduce any feelings of lightheadedness.
While there are potential risks associated with an SGOT test, they tend to be minor and infrequent. The benefits of obtaining valuable information about liver health often outweigh these minimal risks.


Staying informed about our health and taking proactive steps towards maintaining optimal well-being is essential. Regular check-ups and appropriate screenings like the SGOT test play a crucial role in ensuring early detection and timely intervention when it comes to our overall health - especially concerning our vital organ like the liver.

So take charge of your health today by scheduling regular check-ups with your healthcare provider and following their guidance on necessary investigations such as an SGOT test!

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