The Full form of AST is Aspartate Aminotransferase. AST, also known as Serum Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase (SGOT), is an enzyme that is normally present in liver and heart cells. AST is released into blood when the liver or heart is damaged. The blood AST levels are thus elevated with liver damage (for example, from viral hepatitis) or with an insult to the heart (for example, from a heart attack). Some medications can also raise AST levels. The aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test is a blood test that checks for liver damage. The doctor might order this test to find out if you have liver disease and to monitor your treatment. Liver is a vital organ in human body that has many important jobs. It makes a fluid called bile that helps your body to digest food. It also removes waste products and other toxins from your blood. It produces proteins, as well as substances that help your blood clot. Alcohol, drug use and diseases such as hepatitis can damage your liver and keep it off from doing these jobs. Normally, AST levels in blood are low but when your liver is damaged, it puts more AST into your blood, and hence your levels rise.