|Values are valid only on day of printing.|
Plasma or serum levels of albumin are frequently used to assess nutritional status
Albumin is a carbohydrate-free protein, which constitutes 55% to 65% of total plasma protein. It maintains oncotic plasma pressure, is involved in the transport and storage of a wide variety of ligands, and is a source of endogenous amino acids. Albumin binds and solubilizes various compounds, including bilirubin, calcium, long-chain fatty acids, toxic heavy metal ions, and numerous pharmaceuticals.
Hypoalbuminemia is caused by several factors: impaired synthesis due either to liver disease (primary) or due to diminished protein intake (secondary); increased catabolism as a result of tissue damage and inflammation; malabsorption of amino acids; and increased renal excretion (eg, nephrotic syndrome).
> or =12 months: 3.5-5.0 g/dL
Reference values have not been established for patients who are <12 months of age.
Hyperalbuminemia is of little diagnostic significance except in the case of dehydration. When plasma or serum albumin values fall below 2.0 g/dL, edema is usually present.
Albumin values determined by the bromcresol green method may not be identical to the albumin values determined by electrophoresis.
1. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry. Edited by CA Burtis, ER Ashwood. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Company, 1999
2. Peters T, Jr: Serum albumin. In The Plasma Proteins. Second edition. Vol 1. Edited by F Putnam, New York, Academic Press, 1975