Albumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood.
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture.
The health care provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any drugs that may affect the test. Drugs that can increase albumin levels include anabolic steroids, androgens, growth hormone, and insulin.
Albumin helps move many small molecules through the blood, including bilirubin, calcium, progesterone, and medications. It plays an important role in keeping the fluid from the blood from leaking out into the tissues.
Berk PD, Korenblat KM. Approach to the patient with jaundice or abnormal liver test results. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 150.
Pratt DS. Liver chemistry and function tests. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 73.
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