Albumin Lab Values

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Outline

What is the Lab Name for Albumin Lab Values?

Albumin

What is the Lab Abbreviation for Albumin?

alb

What is Albumin in terms of Nursing Labs?

Albumin is a transport protein in the blood. It helps maintain the oncotic pressure of the blood. Albumin levels will drop if synthesis is slowed, protein intake is inadequate, or there are increased losses. Albumin has a long half life, however, so levels are not a good indicator of acute illness.

What is the Normal Range for Albumin?

3.5 – 6.0 g/dL

What are the Indications for Albumin?

  • Evaluation of chronic illness
  • Liver disease
  • Nutritional status

What would cause Increased Levels of Albumin?

  • Dehydration
  • Hyper infusion
  • Albumin

What would cause Decreased Levels of Albumin?

  • Inadequate intake
  • Liver disease
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic disease
  • Losses (fistula, hemorrhage, kidney disease, burns)
  • Over hydration
  • Increased catabolism
  • Congestive heart failure

Overview

  1. Albumin
    1. Normal Value Range
    2. Pathophysiology
    3. Special Considerations
    4. Too High: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments
    5. Too Low: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Nursing Points

General

  1. Normal value range
    1. 3.5 – 6.0 g/dL
  2. Pathophysiology
    1. Produced in the liver
    2. Main protein of plasma
    3. Responsible for maintaining oncotic pressure
      1. Draws fluid into blood vessel
      2. “Protein pulls”
      3. Refer to Fluid & Electrolytes lesson  01.02 Fluid Pressures
    4. Transport protein
    5. Serves as amino acid
    6. Nutrition
      1. Poor indicator of nutrition
        1. Due to long half-life
      2. Pre-Albumin
        1. Better indicator of nutrition
  3. Special considerations
    1. Green top typically
    2. Usually sent with several other labs
      1. Chemistries
      2. Liver function tests
      3. Nutritional labs
  4. Elevated Albumin levels
    1. Dehydration
    2. Excess infusion of albumin
  5. Decreased albumin levels
    1. Liver disease
    2. Fluid loss
      1. Fistula
      2. Hemorrhage
      3. Kidney Disease
      4. Burns
    3. Congestive heart failure
    4. Long term poor nutrition
      1. Inadequate intake
    5. Inflammation

Assessment

  1. Assess patient’s pre-albumin for nutritional status or indications of acute illness

Nursing Concepts

  1. Lab Values
  2. Nutrition
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