The liver is one of the primary and largest internal organs of the body that practically performs more than 500 functions vital for the human body to survive. Known as the chemical factory of the body, the liver processes almost everything that we eat, drink, and apply on the skin and even the air that we breathe in. Briefly, some of the vital functions of the liver are as follows:-
- Detoxification of the blood.
- Produces vital clotting elements, albumin, and many other essential proteins.
- Processes medications and nutrients.
- Processes waste materials present in hemoglobin and other cells.
- Stores vitamins, cholesterol, fats, etc.
- Produces glucose.
An infection or disease in this organ can not only affect the activities it performs but also put an impact on the functionality of other organs of the body as well. To map the proper working of liver, special tests are done. An initial step in detecting an injury or damage to the organ is a simple blood test to determine the level of some liver enzymes in the blood. While under normal conditions, these enzymes stay intact in the cells itself. But in the event of an injury for any reason, these enzymes are released into the blood streams.
Among the many tests that are performed to chart the healthy working of the liver, SGPT test is one of the best to perform. A simple blood test, it measures the level of alanine transaminase (ALT), a type of enzyme produced in the liver which is released into the blood stream when tissues are damaged. The enzyme is also known as serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, or SGPT.
The test is easy to perform and gets over in a matter of few minutes. A small amount of blood is drawn from a vein in your arm which is then sent to the lab for testing. The standard range of values for ALT (SGPT) is about 7 to 56 units per litre of serum. Please note the range can slightly differ from one pathology lab to the other.
In case the ALT level is higher than the standard range specified above, the following may be the reasons of cause:-
- Excess consumption of alcohol
- Liver or Gallbladder disease such as liver cancer, liver failure or stones in gallbladder
- A muscle injury
- Certain medications taken within 24-48 hours of the test performed
The level may be much higher than the standard value, in case of:-
- A liver damage from an acute viral infection like hepatitis.
- A liver damage due to the intake of certain medicines.
The SGPT blood test results are only a small part of the wider picture that takes into consideration the patient’s medical history, current health issues and physical examination in understanding the extent of damage or disease in the organ.
The author is a health blogger who loves to write on topics related to liver such as risk factors, SGPT test, various therapies, and treatments. Tarun has been associated with one of the digital marketing companies of India and works as a Sr. Content Executive. The author has also been acclaimed for him enlightening blogs by many veterans.