Albumin is a plasma protein produced by the liver. Albumin is important for the maintenance of plasma oncotic pressure, and is also a transport protein for many circulating molecules, including some drugs.
Albumin is included in the liver function tests panel as a biomarker of hepatic synthetic function. Other circumstances in which plasma albumin may be measured include in the investigation of proteinuria and oedema. Whilst sometimes measured to assess nutritional state, albumin does not perform well as a nutritional biomarker and this practice is therefore discouraged.
Plasma albumin measurement may be used to "correct" another albumin-bound analyte for an abnormal albumin concentration. The most common example is when reporting the albumin-adjusted ("corrected") calcium.
Plasma albumin is included in a number of clinical risk scores such as the Child Pugh score (for hepatic cirrhosis) and the International Staging System for multiple myeloma. Plasma albumin predicts disease progression in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Paediatric Specimen - Heparin microtainer 600 uL
Aliquot Instructions -100 uL plasma or serum Fridge, separated plasma stable Room Temp 2.5 months or 5 mths 2-8 deg C or 3 mths Frozen -20 deg C
Send ambient or on ice
Causes for a low albumin include acute inflammation (albumin is a negative acute phase reactant), hepatic synthetic failure, protein-losing nephropathy, haemodilution, and malnutrition or protein catabolism. Albumin results should be interpreted in conjunction with other biochemistry results and in the clinical context, in order to determine the underlying cause.
A low albumin is a common finding in pregnant females. This is due to the haemodilution that occurs during pregnancy.
A high serum albumin is usually due to haemoconcentration and may be seen in patients with severe dehydration. Albumin may also be high if the specimen is contaminated with an intravenous albumin solution.
Direct colorimetric determination performed on Beckman Coulter AU5822 analyser using Sentinel Diagnostics reagents (bromocresol purple method).
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