Glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase is an enzyme found in significant concentrations in heart, liver, skeletal muscle, kidney, pancreas, spleen, and lung. Damage to any of these tissues results in release of the enzyme into the circulation. Measurement of serum levels of the enzyme (SGOT) may be of great value in the diagnosis of certain disease states, especially those of viral hepatitis and myocardial infarction.
The occurrence of SGOT values in excess of 500 units has been noted in relatively few conditions. Primary among these are infectious, serum, and toxic hepatitis, in which levels of several thousand units are often noted. Such high levels are often considered virtually pathognomonic of hepatitis, although several other conditions, particularly congestive heart failure, necrotic tumor in the liver, and extrahepatic biliary obstruction1 are occasionally associated with unusually high transaminase values.
A communication in the March issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine1 indicates that pericardial