Albumin

Albumin tests are done as a screen for a liver disorder or kidney disease or to check nutritional status, especially in hospitalized patients (prealbumin is sometimes used instead of albumin in this situation).

Albumin is the most plentiful protein in the blood plasma. It keeps fluid from leaking out of blood vessels; nourishes tissues; and transports hormones, vitamins, drugs, and ions like calcium throughout the body. Albumin is made in the liver and is extremely sensitive to liver damage. The concentration of albumin drops when the liver is damaged, with kidney disease (nephrotic syndrome), when a person is malnourished, if a person experiences inflammation in the body, or with shock. Albumin increases when a person is dehydrated.

PREPARATION FOR TEST

No preparation or fasting is necessary. A blood sample is taken by a needle from a vein. Tell the person doing the test if you are pregnant.

NORMAL FINDINGS

Adult/Elderly

  • Total Protein: 6.4-8.3 g/dL or 64-83g/L (SI units)

  • Albumin; 3.5-5 g/dL or 35-50 g/L (SI units)

  • Globulin 2.3-3.4 g/dL

  • Alpha1 globulin: 0.1-3 g/dL or 1-3 g/L (SI units)

  • Alpha2 globulin: 0.6-1 g/dL or6-10 g/L (SI units)

  • Beta globulin: 0.7-1.1 g/dL or 7-11 g/L (SI units)

Children

  • Total protein.

  • Premature infant: 4.2-7.6 g/L

  • Newborn: 4.6-7.4 g/dL

  • Infant: 6-6.7 g/L

  • Albumin.

  • Premature infant: 3-4.2 g/dL

  • Newborn: 3.5-5.4 g/dL

  • Infant: 4.4-5.4 g/dL

  • Child: 4-5.9 g/dL

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.