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Laboratory Medicine

Test Directory / Albumin

Albumin

Brown clotted serum, gel barrier or orange lithium heparin

TestAlbumin
Common AbbreviationsALB
ProfileBone, Liver Function Test, Adjusted calcium
Tube typeBrown clotted serum, gel barrier or orange lithium heparin
Clinical IndicationAlbumin is a key plasma protein. High levels are infrequent and may be due to severe dehydration and excessive venous stasis. Hypoalbuminaemia may be caused by impaired synthesis e.g. in liver disease; increased catabolism as a result of inflammation; reduced absorption caused by malabsorption syndromes or malnutrition; protein loss to the exterior as observed in nephrotic syndrome or burns; and altered distribution e.g. in ascites. Measurements of albumin are vital to the interpretation of calcium and magnesium levels because these ions are bound to albumin and so decreases of albumin are also directly responsible for depression of their concentrations.
Specimen TypeBlood
Sample typeSerum
Minimum Volume0.5mL If requesting more than 10 tests please send an additional brown clotted serum sample.
Special PrecautionsNo special requirements
Stability>1 month at 2-25°C
Turnaround TimeOutpatient/ GP: 24 hours
LaboratoryYork and Scarborough
Reference IntervalAdult: 35-50 g/L (Recommended by Pathology Harmonisation Reference Group)
LimitationsIn very rare cases gammopathy, especially monoclonal IgM (Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia), may cause unreliable results.
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