Determination of albumin level from serum
It is the most important binding and transporting protein in the human body, accounting for more than 50% of the body’s total protein. It is formed in the liver and has a lifespan of about a month. It has numerous functions, but most importantly, it delivers fatty acids, amino acids, bilirubin, hormones, and medications to the right parts of the body. It is present in the blood plasma as the main antioxidant reserve, it is an amino acid reserve, and nourishes the tissues of the body.
What does the test show?
Measurement of albumin levels shows whether any abnormalities (kidney function and liver function) are present in the excretory organs, and it also shows the patient’s general nutritional status. Albumin is produced by the liver, so if liver failure occurs, its levels may decrease, and the same happens during kidney failure. Normally, no albumin is excreted in the urine, unlike in case of kidney disease. However, it is worth noting that albumin excretion occurs in severe acute excretory diseases.
In which cases is it recommended to perform the test?
For the purpose of general health assessment, it is requested by specialists as a routine laboratory test item, but it can also be ordered for the detection of various absorption disorders, even in cases of pathological thinness and malnutrition. As well as in case of suspicion of acute and chronic liver disease, kidney disease, especially if diabetes or hypertension are present as secondary disease. It is also used as a test item before surgical interventions.
What sample is needed for the test?
A blood sample taken from a vein is needed for the test.
What can the result indicate?
Albumin levels should always be analysed with other values, bearing in mind that deviations from normal values may be temporary. Low levels may primarily indicate liver damage or kidney failure. However, low levels can occur in case of other diseases, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, if a tumour is present in the body or we are suspected of having a chronic disease or infection. In case of various nutrient absorption disorders (celiac disease or Chron’s disease), the result may be lower as well.
High values can indicate dehydration.
What to do after the test?
The test alone cannot diagnose any disease, and in all cases consult an internist or haematologist to determine the exact diagnosis and required therapy.