Serum Albumin Test: Purpose, Procedure and Results

What is a serum albumin test?

Serum albumin test is used to determine a person’s blood albumin level. If the results show any abnormal levels of albumin, This may be an indication of a liver or kidney problem. This can also indicate that a person suffers from a lack of nutrients. (1)

Proteins flow into your bloodstream to help your body maintain fluid balance. Albumin is one kind of protein produced by the liver. That’s one of the most abundant proteins in your bloodstream.

You need an appropriate balance of albumin to stop the fluid from escaping from the blood vessels. Albumin provides your body with the proteins it requires to maintain tissue growth and repair. It also contains essential nutrition and hormones. (2)

A serum albumin test is a simple blood test which measures how much albumin your blood contains. Having a surgical procedure, burning yourself or having an open wound increases your chances of having low levels of albumin.

If none of these guidelines apply to you and your serum albumin levels are abnormal, it may be a sign that your liver or kidneys are not functioning properly. This could also mean you have a lack of nutrition. (3)

Your doctor is going to interpret what your albumin levels mean to your health.

Why is a serum albumin test done?

Your liver gets protein from what you eat and transforms them into new proteins that flow through the different organs and tissues of your body. A serum albumin test may tell your health care provider how your liver works. This is a common liver test. Along with albumin, a liver panel tests your blood for creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and pre-albumin.

If your health care provider suspects that your condition is affecting your liver function, such as liver disease, You’ll probably need to donate a small sample of blood for a albumin test. Symptoms linked to liver disease include:

  • jaundice, which is the yellowish skin and eyes.
  • fatigue
  • unexpectedly low weight loss.
  • swelling surrounding the eyes, stomach or legs.

Your doctor may also use a serum albumin test to check for some of the medical problems you have, including chronic pancreatitis or renal disease. Test results may provide an indication of whether such conditions are improving or worsening.

How do I prepare for a serum albumin test?

Some drugs like insulin, anabolic steroids and growth hormones can affect the test results. Let your doctor know if you are taking any medicine. Your physician may ask you to change the dosage of your medication or to stop taking it before the test.

Do not modify your medication or dosage unless directed by your doctor.

Aside from this, you do not need to take any additional steps before your serum albumin test.

How is a serum albumin test performed?

Your medical professionals provider will take a small blood sample from your arm for serum albumin testing. (4)

Firstly, they use an alcohol swab or an antiseptic wiper to cleanse your skin. Then they attach a strip around your arm to inflate your veins with blood. It’s easier for them to find a vein.

Once a vein is found, the medical professional provider inserts a needle fixed to a vial and collects blood. They can refill a vial or vials.

They’ll send your blood sample to the lab for examination.

A physician may use serum albumin test in other cases to be looked at existing conditions, such as renal disease or chronic pancreatitis. When used to verify these conditions, the test assists a physician in determining if treatment is progressing.

How are the results interpreted?

A serum albumin test is frequently part of a series of tests that test for liver and kidney function. Your physician will probably review all your test results to find out and determine what causes your symptoms and make a precise diagnosis.

The typical value of serum albumin in the blood is between 3.4 and 5.4 grams per decilitre. Low levels of albumin may be associated with a number of health problems, including:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • celiac disease
  • liver disease
  • inflammation
  • shock
  • malnutrition
  • nephritic syndrome or nephrotic syndrome

If your physician thinks that your serum albumin level is low because of liver disease, it can order more tests to determine the particular type of liver disease. Types of liver disease include hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular necrosis.

High levels of serum albumin may mean that you are dehydrated or eating a high-protein diet. However, serum albumin testing is generally not required in order to diagnose dehydration.

It is important to note that the results may vary according to the laboratory that analysed your blood sample. Some laboratories use single measurements or test a variety of samples. Talk to your doctor about the results of your tests.

What are the risks of a serum albumin test?

A serum albumin test requires no large blood sample, so it is considered a low-risk procedure. But if your healthcare provider is having trouble finding a vein, You may experience discomfort and contusions during or following the collection of a blood sample.

You should always inform your physician if you have a health problem which can increase your risk of excessive bleeding. Inform them if you are taking certain drugs, such as anticoagulants, which may cause you’re bleeding more than expected over the course of the procedure.

Side effects resulting from serum albumin test include:

  • bleeding
  • fainting at the sight of blood
  • accumulating blood under the skin.
  • infection at the injection site.
  • too much blood loss.

Call your health care provider if you experience unexpected side effects.

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