Albumin: About This Test

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What is it?

Picture showing location of the liver

This blood test measures the amount of albumin in your blood. Albumin is a protein that is made in the liver and released into the blood. It helps keep the blood from leaking out of blood vessels. Albumin also helps carry some medicines and other substances through the blood and is important for tissue growth and healing.

Why is this test done?

This test is used to:

  • Check how well the liver and kidneys are working.
  • Find out if your diet contains enough protein.
  • Help find the cause of swelling.

How can you prepare for the test?

  • In general, you don’t need to prepare before having this test. Your doctor may give you some specific instructions.

What happens during the test?

  • A health professional takes a sample of your blood.

What else should you know about the test?

  • Your results will include an explanation of what a "normal" result is. This is called a "reference range." It is just a guide. Your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed may still be normal for you.
  • Low albumin levels may be caused by such things as kidney disease, liver disease, or having a very poor diet.

How long does the test take?

  • The test will take a few minutes.

What happens after the test?

  • You will probably be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: November 20, 2015