Albumin is a protein which is found in the plasma in the blood; it is responsible for preventing transporting hormones, medicines, vitamins and ions around the body and prevents fluids from escaping from the blood vessels. Albumin is produced by the liver.

What is the test used for?

The albumin test is used to assess the levels of albumin in the blood; the test is usually recommended for patients with symptoms of liver damage or kidney conditions, including unexplained weight loss and other symptoms associated with malnutrition. The test may also be used to monitor the condition of patients who have already been diagnosed with liver or kidney conditions.

How is the test performed?

The albumin test is performed by obtaining a sample of blood from a vein in the arm (the sample is usually taken from a vein on the inside of the elbow). Once the sample has been collected, it will be bottled and labelled and then sent to the laboratory for analysis.

What do the results mean?

Low levels of albumin may indicate problems with the liver or kidneys; liver disease and conditions which inhibit the kidneys from preventing albumin from leaking into the urine from the blood may be characterised by low levels of albumin.

Low levels of albumin may also indicate digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and Coeliac disease. Raised levels may also be associated with dehydration, inflammation and shock.

Certain medications may affect the levels of albumin in the blood; these include steroids, androgens, growth hormones and insulin.

Specific Blood Tests

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