What do high liver levels mean?

Updated April 17, 2017

Elevated liver enzyme levels may be a sign of damage to the liver. Liver damage can have many possible causes, so talk to your doctor about any elevated results on your liver enzyme test.

Blood Tests

Standard blood tests can be performed to evaluate liver storage, metabolism and other functions aided by these enzymes.


Elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) liver enzymes in the blood may be a sign of liver injury, according to LiverFacts. These enzymes can leak out into the blood as a result of liver injury.


The prothrombin time (PT) is a measure of a person's blood clotting time. Liver damage may cause a person's PT levels to be elevated, indicating a greater chance of bleeding.


Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) are called cholestatic liver enzymes, according to the AIDS Treatment Data Network. Elevated levels may be caused by gallbladder disease, alcoholic liver disease or scarring of the bile ducts.


Elevated levels of bilirubin may be a result of viral hepatitis, liver scarring or blocked bile ducts, according to the AIDS Treatment Data Network. Increased levels of bilirubin can cause jaundice.

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About the Author

Mike McQuillian began writing professionally for the Internet in 2005. He is an associate editor for YabYum Music, a local music Web site focusing on Arizona bands. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Arizona State University in 2005.