At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
When to Get Tested?
If your doctor thinks you have symptoms of liver or kidney disease or prior to a planned surgery
A blood sample taken from a vein in your arm
Test Preparation Needed?
The Test Sample
What is being tested?
Albumin is the most abundant protein in the blood plasma. It keeps fluid from leaking out of blood vessels; nourishes tissues; and carries hormones, vitamins, drugs, and ions like calcium throughout the body. Albumin is made in the liver and its concentration in the blood is sensitive to liver damage. The concentration of albumin in the blood drops when the liver is damaged or with a type of kidney disease called 'nephrotic syndrome if a person experiences severe inflammation in the body, or with shock. The albumin concentration in the blood increases when a person is dehydrated.
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is taken by a needle from a vein.
NOTE: If undergoing medical tests makes you or someone you care for anxious, embarrassed, or even difficult to manage, you might consider reading one or more of the following articles: Coping with Test Pain, Discomfort, and Anxiety, Tips on Blood Testing, Tips to Help Children through Their Medical Tests, and Tips to Help the Elderly through Their Medical Tests.
Another article, Follow That Sample, provides a glimpse at the collection and processing of a blood sample and throat culture.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.
Ask a Laboratory Scientist
NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.