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What is an Albumin test?

An albumin test or serum albumin test is a diagnostic blood test that evaluates albumin levels in blood. Albumin is a protein present in blood, which is produced in the liver. It helps in maintaining fluid levels of blood; nourishing tissues; and carrying various hormones, proteins and enzymes throughout the body.

Low levels of albumin in the blood indicate a kidney or liver disease and excess albumin in urine is a sign of kidney damage. People who have undergone major surgery or have an open wound or burn may also have abnormal albumin levels.

  1. Why is an Albumin test performed?
  2. How do you prepare for an Albumin test?
  3. How is an Albumin test performed?
  4. What do Albumin test results indicate?

Albumin test is usually performed as part of a routine liver function evaluation or sometimes as part of a metabolic profile (which includes other substances, such as creatinine, electrolytes and glucose). Albumin levels are also evaluated when a kidney or liver disease is suspected.

Two major factors contributing to hypoalbuminaemia are severe liver and kidney disease. Since liver produces albumin, a severely affected or poorly functioning liver can lead to decreased albumin levels. Kidneys function to conserve albumin, ensuring that it is not excreted along with other waste products; however, if the kidney is diseased or damaged, it begins to release albumin along with other proteins. In certain situations, such as chronic kidney disease due to diabetes, hypertension or nephritic syndrome, a very high amount of albumin is lost from kidneys.

Symptoms of kidney disease include:

Symptoms of liver disease include:

  • Jaundice (yellow-coloured skin and eyes)
  • Weight loss (unexpected)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Pale-coloured stool
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Swelling of feet, particularly around ankles
  • Fluid accumulation around  abdomen (ascites)
  • Redness of  palms and soles
  • Spider naevi (spider-like blood vessels on the skin)
  • Menopause (in women)
  • Gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men)
  • Drowsiness, confusion and slurring of speech (in case of hepatic encephalopathy)

Besides, albumin levels are also evaluated to check for acute heart failure, malnutrition, protein-losing enteropathy or sepsis.

Preparation before albumin test does not require any kind of fasting, but certain medications, such as anabolic steroids, growth hormone or insulin, which alter serum albumin levels, need to be either reduced in dosage or stopped.

It is a simple test that takes less than five minutes. An experienced laboratory specialist collects a blood sample from your arm by inserting a needle into a vein. A small quantity of blood is then withdrawn into a sterile vial or a test tube. A momentary pricking pain is felt when the needle is injected in the vein.

There is a minimal risk of pain, light-headedness and bruising at the injection site. However, these symptoms disappear quickly at most times. Rarely, an infection may occur at the site of withdrawal of blood.

Albumin test measures the amount of albumin levels present in the blood.

Normal results: Normal values of albumin in blood range from 3.5 to 5 g/dL. The value varies slightly as per the laboratory (due to the equipment used for evaluation).

Abnormal results:

Higher levels of albumin, more than 5 g/dL are seen rarely and usually indicate

Lower levels of albumin, ie, less than 4 g/dL indicate

Altered albumin levels do not necessarily indicate the presence of disease. Certain drugs, such as insulin, metabolic steroids and hormonal preparations, can increase blood albumin levels, while contraceptive pills can reduce albumin levels in blood.

Disclaimer: All results must be clinically correlated with the patient’s complaints to make a complete and accurate diagnosis. This information is purely from an educational perspective and is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a qualified doctor.

Albumin Test की जांच का लैब टेस्ट करवाएं

Albumin Serum

20% छूट + 10% कैशबैक

PROTEIN AND ALBUMIN, SERUM

20% छूट + 10% कैशबैक
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References

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Albumin Blood Test
  2. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; What is Albumin test?
  3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Albuminuria: Albumin in the Urine
  4. ©2019 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai [internet]. NY (USA); Albumin - blood (serum) test
  5. Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Chapter 101 Serum Albumin and Globulin. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition.. Boston: Butterworths; 1990