This test is normally performed to assist in diagnosing diseases that affect proteins in the body. It may be used to diagnose, evaluate and monitor the disease course in a person with cancer, intestinal or renal problems, liver disease, and immune disorders.
How is the test performed?
A blood sample is taken to measure the amount of albumin in the blood. The blood is usually drawn from a vein in the forearm or the hand. First, the skin over the vein is cleaned with an antiseptic. Next, a strong rubber tube, or tourniquet, is wrapped around the upper arm. This enlarges the veins in the lower arm by restricting blood flow through them. A very thin needle is gently inserted into a vein and the tourniquet is removed. Blood flows from the vein through the needle and is collected into a syringe or vial. It is sent to the laboratory for testing. After the needle is withdrawn, the puncture site is covered for a short time to prevent bleeding.
Preparation & Expectations
What is involved in preparation for the test?
A person having this test should request instructions on how to prepare from a healthcare provider.
Results and Values
What do the test results mean?
The normal amount of albumin in the blood ranges from 3.4 to 5.4 grams per deciliter (gm/dl).
Abnormally low concentrations of albumin in the blood may indicate:
ascites, an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal and pelvic cavity
malabsorption syndromes such as Crohn’s disease, sprue, or Whipple’s disease