|See Also||Lab Tests|
Total serum protein consists of albumin and total globulin. The total protein value can therefore be affected by conditions that affect albumin and total globulin readings. However, a normal total protein value is still possible despite abnormal albumin or globulin levels. An example of this is a condition that causes a decreased albumin level and an increased globulin level, which will yield a normal total serum protein value.,
- Protein absorption is affected by stomach, pancreatic, or small intestine dysfunction.
- Hence serum protein is used to screen for nutritional deficiencies and functional digestive problems.
- Malnutrition, digestive dysfunction due to HCL need, or liver dysfunction are all possible signs of a decreased total protein value.
- An increased total protein level can be due to a rise in either one or both levels of albumin and total globulin.
- Factors which can cause increased levels
- Hemolysis and dehydration, prolonged application of a tourniquet
- Drugs: anabolic steroids, androgens, corticosteroids, dextran, growth hormone, insulin, phenazopyridine, and progestterone
- Factors which can cause decreased levels
- any condition with prolonged bed rest, during 3rd trimester of pregnancy
- Drugs: ammonium ions, estrogens, hepatotoxic drugs, and oral contraceptives
Ranges: The following are the reference ranges for this lab. However, lab ranges can vary by laboratory and country. 
|Standard U.S. Units||Standard International Units|
|Conventional Laboratory Range||6.0-8.5 g/dL||60-85 g/L|
|Optimal Range||6.9-7.4 g/dL||69-74 g/L|
|Alarm Ranges||< 5.9 or > 8.5 g/dL||< 59 or > 85 g/L|
High levels indicate:
- Other conditions: adrenal hypofunction, Liver/Biliary dysfunction, amino acid need, diabetes, neoplasm, rheumatoid arthritis
Low levels indicate:
- Digestive Dysfunctions or Inflammation
- Liver Dysfunctions
- Low protein diet/ amino acid need
- Other conditions: thyroid hyperfunction, adrenal hyperfunction, thiamine deficiency, posterior pituitary dysfunction, CHF, hypertension, renal dysfunction
- Albumin, total globulin, liver enzymes, WBC with differential, serum protein, protein electrophoresis, serum Gastrin, IgA, IgM, IgG, HCT, HGB
- Pagana Kathleen D, Pagana Timothy J (1998) Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Mosby, Inc
- Weatherby Dicken, Ferguson Scott (2002) Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective, Bear Mountain