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Serum Albumin Test

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The serum albumin test looks at the levels of albumin in a person's blood.

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    Albumin, although not specific, can serve as one of the tests to assess liver function. Apart from the symptoms mentioned above, the test also gives an indication of chronic pancreatitis, liver or kidney disease. If you are suffering from these conditions, albumin tests can indicate how effective the treatment is and whether or not there is any improvement.

A Serum Albumin Test allows your doctor to review the functioning of your liver. Your doctor may recommend this test for you if you show the symptoms of liver disease. They include:

  1. Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin)
  2. Fatigue
  3. Unexpected weight loss
  4. Swelling under your eyes, legs and stomach

Proteins play an extremely critical role in carrying out various functions, one of them is maintaining fluid balance. Albumin, one of the key proteins that keeps the fluids intact in blood vessels preventing their leakage. Albumin acts as a carrier for several nutrients, hormones, and proteins required for blood clotting, and it transports these contents to different cells of the body, thus providing nutrition to the cells. If albumin level in your blood is not below normal, it indicates something wrong with your liver and kidney. With a simple blood test, your doctor can find out your albumin levels and analyse the implications if the levels are not found to be normal.

Reference Values

Reference Value depends on age, gender and medical history.

The normal range for serum albumin is between 3.5 and 5.0 g/dL (grams per deciliter)

Interpretations

Low albumin primarily points out towards a kidney or liver disorder. If the liver is gone bad, it can’t produce albumin as result of liver dysfunction, and further, liver specific tests are needed to vet the findings of plausible liver damage. In case of any kidney, if the blood filtering units of the kidney (nephrons) are structurally and functionally intact, they don’t filter out albumin in urine. But in times when the nephrons are damaged, excess albumin can be filtered-reducing the blood levels, which can be confirmed with kidney specific examination. However, albumin shouldn’t be a specific marker for liver damage, as low albumin levels are detected only in cases of severe liver damage or cirrhosis.

There are several other conditions because of which low albumin levels can be seen which are inflammation, shock, and malnutrition. They can also indicate some disorder of the intestine, where it’s not able to absorb proteins. 

A/G Ratio

Normally, the/g (albumin to globulin) ratio exceeds the value of 1.  If the ratio is too low or too high, additional testing must be done to determine the cause and diagnosis, and is indicative of several diseases from autoimmune disorders to blood cancers (leukaemia).

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Serum Albumin Test

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