Albumin

Albumin is an important protein in the body. Read here, which can increase the albumin and when an albumin deficiency occurs!

Albumin

The albumin is a protein with various important functions in the body. It is important, for example, as a vehicle or in the distribution of fluids inside and outside the cells. Read here which albumin values ​​are normal for a healthy adult and which diseases change albumin levels.

Product Overview

albumin

  • What is albumin?

  • When do you determine the albumin?

  • Albumin: standard values

  • When is the albumen degraded?

  • When is the albumin increased?

  • What to do with altered albumin?

What is albumin?

Albumin is a protein. It makes up about 60 percent of the total protein in blood serum. It is formed mainly in the liver cells (hepatocytes). Among other things, albumin serves to buffer the pH and as a readily available source of energy. But it also has other important functions:

Albumin and the colloid osmotic pressure

The blood proteins receive the so-called colloid-osmotic pressure. It is about 25 mmHg in plasma (equivalent to about 3.3 kPa) and is important for establishing the balance between the dissolved particles (colloids) inside and outside the cells. If the colloid osmotic pressure drops, increased edema of plasma water from the cells leads to the formation of edema. Since albumin makes up the largest proportion of blood proteins, it is also the most important factor in maintaining colloid osmotic pressure.

Albumin as a transport protein

Albumin is an important carrier in the bloodstream. This applies both to the body's own substances and to substances that are supplied to the body from the outside. Albumin binds and transports among others:

  • Hormones like cortisol and thyroxine
  • Vitamin D
  • fatty acids
  • Bilirubin (a degradation product of red blood pigment)
  • enzymes
  • Amino acids (building blocks of enzymes)
  • Electrolytes (magnesium, calcium)
  • Metals (copper ions)
  • Medications such as blood thinners, immunosuppressants or antibiotics

When do you determine the albumin?

The albumin value is determined among others by:

  • chronic liver diseases (liver cirrhosis, fatty liver, etc.)
  • Protein loss via the kidneys or the gastrointestinal tract
  • Clarification of water retention in the tissue (edema)
  • Protein malnutrition

The doctor can determine the albumin both in the blood serum and in the urine and in the nerve water (liquor). For the determination he needs either:

  • 20 ml of spontaneous morning urine or urine collected over 24 hours
  • 1 ml of blood serum
  • three sterile CSF samples

Albumin: standard values

The albumin in the serum should be between 3500 and 5500 mg / dl. In the urine, the values ​​depend on the type of sample: In the 24-hour urine collection the album should be below 30 mg / day, in morning urine below 20 mg / l. If the values ​​are above, the doctor distinguishes macro- and micro-albuminuria:

  • Microalbuminuria (moderate albumin loss): 30 to 300 mg / day in the urine or 20 to 200 mg / l in the morning urine
  • Macroalbuminuria (severe loss of albumin):> 300 mg / day in the urine or> 200 mg / l in the morning urine

The albumin CSF alone is not meaningful. It must be assessed in relation to the serum albumin content: the physician calculates the quotient of the albumin value in the serum and the albumin value in the CSF.

Older

Albumin quotient CSF / serum (x0,001)

newborn

< 28

Infants in the 1st month

< 15

Infants in the 2nd month

< 10

Infants in the 3rd month

< 5

Children between 4 months and 6 years

< 3,5

Children between 6 and 15 years

< 5

Adults up to 40 years

< 6,5

Adults over 40 years

< 8

When is the albumen degraded?

If the albumin is too low, this is called hypoalbuminemia or hypoalbuminemia. It occurs at:

  • slipped liver cirrhosis, acute hepatitis, toxic liver damage
  • Amyloidoses (diseases with deposition of altered proteins in the body)
  • Protein loss via the kidney (nephrotic syndrome) or the gastrointestinal tract (exudative enteropathy with aqueous diarrhea)
  • Deficiency or malnutrition (for example, Kwashiorkor)
  • Burns or exudative skin diseases such as dermatitis
  • Excess fluid (hyperhydration, for example, by infusion therapy or during pregnancy)
  • advanced cancers
  • hereditary albumin deficiency (on or hypoalbuminemia)

Low albumin in the urine has no meaning.

When is the albumin increased?

If there is a lack of fluid (dehydration) - for example due to vomiting, increased urination or diarrhea - the albumin is too high in the blood serum. However, this is only a relative increase in the protein compared to the amount of liquid.

Increased albumin in the urine occurs, for example, in hypertension or diabetes mellitus with kidney damage (hypertonic or diabetic nephropathy).

Elevated levels of albumin in nerve water may be an indication of inflammation of the meninges (meningitis) or of the brain itself (encephalitis).But they can also be an expression of brain and spinal cord tumors or circulatory disorders of the brain.

What to do with altered albumin?

Hypoalbuminemia (hypoalbuminemia) is treated according to its underlying disease. If the cause is protein loss via the kidney, the doctor may administer dehydrating medications or hypertension medications (Sartane, ACE inhibitors, etc.). If albumin deficiency is severe, the doctor may administer an albumin replacer solution containing 5 to 20 percent albumin.

What to do with albuminuria?

If the excretion of albumin in the urine is increased, the doctor must check whether the albumin loss occurs regularly. For this he carries out three or more albumin determinations within the next six to eight weeks. If microalbuminuria is present, a check is necessary two to three times a year. In case of a more pronounced loss of albumin (macroalbuminuria), the doctor must clarify the cause of kidney damage.


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