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Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT): About Your Child's Test

What is it?

An alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test measures the amount of the enzyme ALT in the blood. ALT is found mainly in the liver. When ALT levels are higher than normal, it can mean that the liver is damaged or diseased.

Why is this test done?

The ALT test is done to:

  • Look for acute and chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis.
  • Help check for liver damage.
  • Find out whether jaundice was caused by a blood disorder or liver disease.
  • Keep track of the effects of medicines that can damage the liver.

How do you prepare for the test?

In general, there's nothing you have to do before this test, unless your doctor tells you to.

How is the test done?

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

How long does the test take?

The test will take a few minutes.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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