Since albumin is low in many different diseases and disorders, albumin testing is used in a variety of settings to help diagnose disease, to monitor changes in health status with treatment or with disease progression, and as a screen that may indicate the need for other kinds of testing. An albumin test may be ordered as part of a liver panel to evaluate liver function, along with a creatinine and BUN (blood urea nitrogen) to evaluate kidney function, or along with a prealbumin to evaluate a person's nutritional status.
One of the main protein groups found in blood. The alpha-and beta-globulins are produced by the liver, whereas the gamma-globulins (antibodies that play an important role in the body’s defense against disease) are produced by some of the white blood cells and plasma cells. The level of serum globulin is often elevated in liver disease, collagen diseases, and myeloma.
Total protein measurements can reflect nutritional status and may be used to screen for and help diagnose kidney disease, liver disease, and many other conditions. Sometimes conditions are first detected with routine testing before symptoms have begun to appear. If total protein is abnormal, further tests must be performed to identify which specific protein is abnormally low or high so that a specific diagnosis can be made.