Albumin

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-3-21 (EDT)

See Also Lab Tests

Albumin is a major constituent of blood proteins. It is produced mainly in the liver, where it plays a major role in distributing water and serving as a transport protein for hormones and various drugs. It is also responsible for about 80% of the colloid-osmotic pressure between blood and tissue fluids.[1], [2] The albumin blood test is done to screen for liver disorders or kidney disease or to evaluate nutritional status.


Contents

Discussion

  • Albumin levels are affected by digestive dysfunction
  • A decreased albumin can be an indication of malnutrition, digestive dysfunction due to hydrochloric acid need, or liver dysfunction
  • The lack of available essential amino acids such as tryptophan can cause malnutrition and a decreased albumin level in the serum.

Patient Preparation

  • No preparation or fasting is required for this test.
  • Factors which can cause increased levels
  • Factors which can cause decreased levels
  • excessive hemolysis when sample is taken while lying down

Clinical Implications

Ranges The following are the reference ranges for this lab. However, lab ranges can vary by laboratory and country. [2]

Standard U.S. Units Standard International Units
Conventional Laboratory Range 3.5-5.5 g/dL 35-55 g/L
Optimal Range 4.0-5.0 g/dL 40-50 g/L
Alarm Ranges < 4.0 g/dL < 40 g/L

High levels indicate:

Low levels indicate:

Associated Tests

References

  1. Pagana Kathleen D, Pagana Timothy J, (1998) Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests. Mosby Inc
  2. 2.0 2.1 Weatherby Dicken, Ferguson Scott. (2002) Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective, Bear Mountain
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