Total Protein Test

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Also known as: TP

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To look for certain liver, kidney disorders and several other diseases

When to Get Tested?

If your doctor thinks that you have symptoms of a liver or kidney disorder

Sample Required?

A blood taken from a vein

Test Preparation Needed?

None

The Test Sample

What is being tested?

The total protein test is a rough measure of all of the proteins in the plasma portion of your blood. Proteins are important building blocks of all cells and tissues; they are important for body growth and health. Total protein measures the combined amount of two classes of proteins, albumin and globulin. Albumin is a carrier of many small molecules, but its main purpose is to keep fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, while globulin proteins include enzymes, antibodies, and more than 500 other proteins.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A blood sample is collected by 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.

The Test

Common Questions

Ask a Laboratory Scientist

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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.