More information would be needed to properly answer this question, and you should consult your physician for further workup. For example, the rest of the liver function panel (AST, total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase) would help characterize the process happening in your liver. It would also be important to know the time course of the lab abnormality (acute versus chronic), its trend (isolated elevation, up-trending, stable elevation, etc.), and if you have any associated symptoms. To answer your question, an elevated ALT by itself does not mean that you have cirrhosis. It may, however, be an indicator of underlying liver damage. Cirrhosis would typically be diagnosed with an abdominal ultrasound. Severe cirrhosis would be suggested by yellowish discoloration of the eyes/skin, easy bruising and bleeding
, and/or progressive fluid retention in your belly and legs. Cirrhosis aside, an elevated ALT would most commonly be caused be by infection (typically viruses like hepatitis), toxic injury (alcohol, usually with an AST elevation 2 times greater than ALT), or obesity/diabetes/high cholesterol. Other causes include vascular problems (heart failure, venous clots), obstructive processes (gallstones) and, less commonly, autoimmune disease or hereditary metabolic derangements (Wilson's disease, hemochromatosis, alpha-1 anti-trypsin disease). I would encourage you to discuss the above possibilities with your primary care doctor
, especially as a referral to a gastroenterologist
may be appropriate.