Proteins circulate throughout your blood to help your body maintain fluid balance. Albumin is one of the most abundant proteins available. It is produced by your liver.
You need a proper balance of albumin to keep fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. Albumin gives your body the proteins it needs to keep growing and repairing tissue. It also carries vital nutrients and hormones.
A serum albumin test is often part of a series of tests that check liver and kidney function. Your doctor is likely to look at all your test results to determine what’s causing your symptoms and try to make an accurate diagnosis.
A lab technician draws a small sample of blood from your arm to use for the serum albumin test.
First, they use an alcohol swab or antiseptic wipe to clean your skin. Then they tie a band around your upper arm to make your veins swell with blood. This helps them find a vein more easily. If it is difficult for the technician to find a vein, you may have some discomfort and bruising during or after giving a blood sample.
Once they find a vein, the technician inserts a needle that’s attached to a vial and draws blood. They may fill one or more vials.
You should always tell your doctor if you have a medical condition that may increase your risk of excessive bleeding. Let them know if you’re taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, that may cause you to bleed more than expected during the procedure.
The typical value for serum albumin in blood is 3.4 to 5.4 grams per deciliter. Low albumin levels can indicate a number of health conditions, including:
Nephritic syndrome or nephrotic syndrome