ALT (alanine amino transferase) - Definition

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Alanine amino transferase, or ALT, also called serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), is a transaminase enzyme. It is essentially found in striated muscles, those that are under voluntary control, and above all in the liver. The quantity of this enzyme can be assessed to diagnose certain conditions, notably muscular or liver disorders. If liver cells are destroyed during hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer, for example, ALT levels in the blood therefore increase. ALT levels are often analyzed along with ASAT levels, or aspartate amino transferase, the other frequently measured transaminase enzyme, which is also present in cardiac muscle.