Topic Completed: 1 November 2013

Minor changes: 27 August 2020

Copyright: 2003-2020,, Inc.

PubMed Search: albumin[title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 353
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Albumin. website. Accessed October 28th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Most common serum protein
    • 65K protein produced by ALB gene on #4, by liver (Wikipedia)
    • 50% of total plasma protein content; usual serum concentration of 40 g/L
    • Binds to water, bilirubin, calcium, fatty acids, hormones (acts as carrier protein), potassium, sodium, and various drugs
    • Main function of serum albumin is to regulate blood colloidal osmotic pressure
    • Bovine serum albumin (BSA): plasma protein from cows that maintains osmotic pressure in blood plasma for proper distribution of body fluids between intravascular compartments and body tissues
  • Rarely used as IHC marker for liver
Clinical features
  • Laboratory:
    • For serum albumin measure, most instrument systems do NOT have satisfactory total-error performance (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013;137:912)
    • Serum albumin may be a low cost diagnostic marker for tuberculosis in HIV+ patients eligible for antiretroviral therapy (Bioimpacts 2013;3:123)
    • In type 2 diabetes patients with stable angina and chronic total coronary occlusion, increased serum glycated albumin levels are associated with impaired coronary collateral growth (Cardiovasc Diabetol 2013;12:165)
    • Deficiency causes familial dysalbuminemic hyperthyroxinemia (MIM:103600)
  • Surgical pathology
    • Albumin in-situ hybridization may be specific for hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoid areas of combined hepatocellular-cholangiocarcinoma (Am J Surg Pathol 2002;26:989), although other markers are more commonly used
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Left: normal liver; right: negative control

Liver and hepatocellular carcinoma

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