Preferred Sample Type

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)

Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
  • Li Hep Plasma
1ml whole blood (minimum sample volume 30 uL)

Specimen Transport

Not applicable

Sample Processing in Laboratory

No special transport requirements

Sample Preparation

Centrifuge on arrival

Turnaround Time

1 day

Sample Stability

Store at 4oC. 

Stable at room temperature for 24 hours and seven days at 4 ºC.

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)

General Information

Very high levels of AST, sometimes in excess of 100 times, are seen in severe tissue damage such as acute hepatitis, crush injuries and tissue hypoxia. In acute myocardial infarction plasma AST begins to rise 12 hours after the infarct reaching a peak at 24-36 hours.

Patient Preparation



Haemolysis interferes with measurement of AST activity.

Reference Range

5-34 IU/L

(Source : Abbott Diagnostics)


  • EQA Scheme?: Yes
  • EQA Status:

    NEQAS for Clinical Chemistry Scheme

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The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235