The Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) test is a blood test that measures the level of the enzyme AST in the bloodstream. Here are a few reasons why getting an AST test may be important:
Liver function: AST is an enzyme that is found primarily in the liver, but it is also present in other organs like the heart and muscles. An elevated AST level can indicate liver damage or disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or alcoholism.
Muscle damage: AST is also present in muscle tissue, so an elevated AST level can indicate muscle damage, such as from a heart attack or muscle injury.
Medication side effects: Some medications, such as statins (used to lower cholesterol), can cause liver damage as a side effect. An AST test can help monitor liver function and detect any liver damage that may be caused by medication.
Overall, an AST test can be an important tool in monitoring liver function, detecting liver disease or damage, and assessing the side effects of certain medications. If you have concerns about liver function or are taking medications that may affect the liver, speak with your healthcare provider to determine whether an AST test is appropriate for you.