The SGOT (Serum Glutamic-Oxaloacetic Transaminase) test is commonly done as part of an expanded chemistry panel and is considered by most to be a good measure of the health of the liver. The SGOT is also called the aspartate transaminase test or AST. While it is believed to be a measure of liver health, the SGOT is not just found only in the liver. This means that other issues could affect the SGOT level besides the liver.
The SGOT is found in the heart, liver, kidneys, skeletal muscle, red blood cells and brain. It is the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of the amino acid aspartate and alpha-ketoglutarate into glutamate and oxaloacetate.
Many people wonder why doctors take so much blood or why they order so many tests. They worry that there must be something wrong with them and wait for the test results with trepidation. What doctors often fail to tell the patients are that most of these tests are just screening tests and that they are well until proven otherwise. Screening tests have a big role in medicine and patients need to understand why doctors do them and what the benefit is to them.
Homocysteine is one of many amino acid made by the body and is something we get from eating meat. Normally, amino acids are those that help make muscle and proteins in the body. It has been found that high levels of homocysteine in the body are associated with hardening and narrowing of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. Things like heart disease, blood clots, strokes and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease are related to atherosclerosis and elevated homocysteine levels. Some doctors believe that one can test for elevated homocysteine levels and can determine who is at risk for heart disease and who isn’t.
Types of blood tests to screen
When you have a screening blood test at the doctor’s office, a number of tests are performed. Each doctor chooses which things to screen for but, in many cases, there are chemistry panels and full blood counts (FBCs) that allow the doctor to screen for many different diseases at once. Such a screening test is usually done once per year on a fasting basis for older individuals and is done less often for people under age 50 years.
Bilirubin is a waste product from the breakdown of haemoglobin. It is formed in the liver and excreted in the bile. High levels of bilirubin in the blood will cause jaundice resulting in a yellowness of the skin and the white part of the eyes. High level is associated with liver disease and haemolytic anaemias.
Total Protein (TP)
Total protein is composed of albumin and globulin, produced mainly by the liver. Some common causes of a high level are chronic liver disease, dehydration, chronic infection and alcoholism. Low levels may be caused by severe liver disease, malnutrition and chronic renal failure.