SGOT Blood Test

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 13/10/2023

When we think about a healthy body and primary organs, we mostly think about the heart, brain and kidneys. But another primary organ which is usually forgotten is the liver.

The liver is the largest internal organ and among the most vital. More so, it is known to perform at least 500 vital functions. Thus, a healthy liver is undoubtedly pivotal to leading a healthy life. If the liver gets sick, one might face many health-related issues, and a medical practitioner may suggest some Liver Function Tests (LFT) to find the cause or symptom of liver damage or disease.

One such Liver Function Test (LFT) is the SGOT or AST test. The SGOT test is a blood test that forms a part of a liver profile and other tests. The doctor or medical practitioner may ask the patient to undergo this test if they develop symptoms of liver damage like jaundice, stomach pain, dark-colour urine, appetite loss and others.

In this article, we shall discuss what SGOT test means, what this test determines, when the doctors advise it, SGOT normal range in males and females and related aspects.

SGOT Full Form in Medical Tests

Full form of the SGOT test is serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT). Another name for this test is Aspartate aminotransferase, also called the AST test.

SGOT Meaning in Blood Test

SGOT test is usually prescribed as a part of a complete Liver Function Test (LFT) or liver profile test. It measures the levels of the AST enzyme produced by the liver. Aspartate aminotransferase, or AST, is an enzyme that helps the liver convert food into energy, breaking food down into amino acids. High AST levels can indicate that the liver is injured, damaged or irritated, which may lead to other complications.

If your doctor prescribes you an SGOT test, it means it is a type of blood test with no side effects since it is minimally invasive and only a tiny amount of blood is withdrawn from the body. Typically, this test is prescribed along with other blood tests to help the doctor diagnose mild to severe existing liver ailments.

Why is the SGOT Test Performed?

The SGOT test measures the level of AST in the bloodstream. The AST protein is mainly in the liver, kidneys, heart and muscles. If the liver is damaged or irritated, the AST enzyme can leak from the liver and flow into the bloodstream. When such a situation occurs, the AST level in the blood is higher than normal; thus, the test will show the SGOT in the high range.

Following are the situations under which a doctor may prescribe an SGOT test:

  • If the individual is exposed to risk factors for liver disease, for instance, having a family history of liver-related ailments, obesity, or diabetes.

  • If the individual shows symptoms of a liver problem, such as jaundice, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, etc

  • If the individual is undergoing treatment for liver, the SGOT test can determine how well the treatment works.

As mentioned earlier, the AST enzyme is also present in other organs. So, any damage to these organs can also show the SGOT in a high range. Therefore, along with the SGOT test, doctors also recommend the Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase (SGPT) test. This test checks the levels of the SGPT enzyme in the blood. If the test results fall in the SGOT full form in medical, it indicates liver disease.

Preparing for SGOT Test

The SGOT test is a simple blood test wherein a small amount of blood sample is withdrawn from the body. Hence, like any other regular blood test, it does not require any special preparation. However, an individual undergoing this test should keep in mind the following things:

  • You must inform your doctor about all the existing medications that you take regularly. If the medications are taken before the tests, they must be accounted for while studying the test results.

  • It is recommended to drink plenty of water the night before the night before the test. This will help you stay hydrated and facilitate easy withdrawal of the blood.

  • Wear an outfit that allows your forearm to be easily accessible to the laboratory technician for drawing blood.

Understanding SGOT Test Results

Knowing the SGOT and SGPT normal range is essential to understand the test reading. If the test result shows the SGOT in the higher range, it means the organs containing the AST enzyme are damaged, and the doctor may recommend further tests to rule out further diagnosis.

A healthy individual's normal range of SGOT is between 8 and 45 units per litre.

  • SGOT normal range male: 10 and 40 units per litre

  • SGOT normal range female: 9 and 32 units per litre.

Similarly, the normal range of SGPT in a healthy individual is between 7 and 55 units per litre.

Hence, if SGOT test results show 48 units per litre for males, the SGOT level is high but not alarmingly high. But anything above 50 may be considered dangerous levels of SGPT and SGOT. High test results indicate severe underlying liver complications, which must be addressed immediately.

What to Expect After the Test?

If your SGOT test is unsatisfying, your doctor may prescribe additional tests. If the doctor concludes that there is an underlying liver issue, they may also order the following:

  • Bilirubin test

  • Glucose test

  • Coagulation panel

  • Platelet count

Based on these tests, the doctor may conclude about the further course of treatment. If required, the patient may also be asked to undergo a liver ultrasound to diagnose the problem.

SGOT Test Details in Brief

Also Known As AST Test, Aspartate Aminotransferase Test, Transaminase test
Purpose To measure the level of the aspartate aminotransferase (AST) enzyme in the blood, indicating liver damage or other health conditions.
Test preparation No special preparation is required. However, inform your doctor about medications or supplements you currently take.
Fasting required No
Report/Result generation time Less than 24 hours

Importance of Health Insurance

A healthy liver means you are healthy; hence, taking care of your health should be your priority. One way to ensure you get timely medical care during an emergency is to have an adequate health insurance policy. Medical insurance plans safeguard you from financial obstacles arising from illnesses covered by the plan.

A comprehensive health insurance plan is highly recommended for hospitalisation bills and medical expenses, including diagnosis costs. Critical illness insurance is a type of medical insurance that provides you coverage against critical illnesses such as kidney failure, coma, cancer, liver issues, etc.

A critical illness insurance offers coverage against critical illnesses and provides security for your savings since the medical expenses related to these illnesses are very high. Critical illness coverage from a reputed and trustworthy insurance provider like Tata AIG is essential, especially for individuals with a family history of critical illness, who are the family's sole breadwinner or individuals above 40 years.

With Tata AIG, you can compare, buy or renew health insurance online. You also get access to a vast network of hospitals for cashless claim facilities, 24/7 assistance, and various other online features at an affordable price.

Summing Up

Our liver plays a vital role in our health and contributes to our well-being in numerous ways. If an individual experiences symptoms the doctor considers related to liver issues, they may be prescribed an SGOT test. This test shows how healthy the liver is. The test is a basic blood test which does not require any specific preparations.

Undergoing various tests and treatments can be tasking for any individual. Hence, it is recommended to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight and drink alcohol responsibly to maintain a healthy liver.


What does an SGOT in a high range signify?

Suppose the AST level or SGOT is high. In that case, it may indicate chances of chronic hepatitis, liver damage due to alcohol, liver cancer, jaundice, liver scarring, heart, kidney or other AST-containing organ damage, etc.

What does an SGOT in a low range signify?

Low AST levels, too, may adversely affect one's health. It may indicate vitamin B6 deficiency, liver or kidney disease, cancer, genetic conditions, etc.

Are there any risks involved in the SGOT test?

Being a regular blood test, SGOT has very few risks involved. There are no severe side effects of undergoing this test, however, some individuals may experience mild bruising or discomfort in the area from where the blood is withdrawn.

What causes high SGOT?

SGOT enzymes are produced in different body organs like the liver, kidney, etc. If there is damage to any of these enzyme-producing organs, the level of AST or SGOT in the body increases. A muscle injury or a heart attack may also cause high SGOT.

What are the symptoms of high SGOT levels?

  • Common symptoms of high SGOT levels include:

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Easy bruising

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, or abdomen,

  • Itching of the skin

Disclaimer / TnC

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