Physiology, Albumin

Link to article at PubMed

2021 Aug 9. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–.


Albumin is the most abundant circulating protein found in plasma. It represents half of the total protein content (3.5 g/dL to 5 g/dL) of plasma in healthy human patients. Albumin is synthesized by liver hepatocytes and rapidly excreted into the bloodstream at the rate of about 10 gm to 15 gm per day. Very little albumin is stored in the liver, and most of it gets rapidly excreted into the bloodstream. In humans, serum albumin functions as a significant modulator of plasma oncotic pressure and transporter of endogenous and exogenous (i.e. drugs) ligands. In clinical medicine, serum albumin can be measured via standard serum laboratory testing, and this measure has been advocated as a highly sensitive marker for an individual patient's nutritional status.

Albumin is also a colloid fluid administered to patients in need of fluid resuscitation, especially in the setting of trauma (i.e. hypovolemic shock) or in the setting of large-volume paracentesis. As a laboratory value, serum albumin can also aid clinicians regarding insight into patients' liver function or the ability to biosynthesize proteins and factors vital to total body homeostasis.

PMID:29083605 | Bookshelf:NBK459198

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