Chapter 17. Serum Albumin


Kamil Jugo, Dorota Bartusik-Aebisher and David Aebisher
Medical College of The University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland

Part of the book: The Biochemical Guide to Proteins


Albumin is a low molecular weight, globular protein that is one of the main components of human blood plasma. Its synthesis takes place in liver cells – hepatocytes. Apart from regulating oncotic pressure, it has many important functions, influencing the functioning of the whole organism. Albumin has been shown to have anticoagulant activity by indirectly neutralizing factor Xa and preventing platelet aggregation, and is therefore involved in the maintenance of haemostasis. Low levels of albumin may indicate liver diseases such as cirrhosis and viral hepatitis (impaired protein synthesis), in kidney diseases, especially in nephrotic syndrome. The decreased concentration of albumin may be states of malabsorption or deficiency of nutrients. Therefore, albumin is a very important diagnostic indicator presenting the patient’s health condition.


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