Page last updated April 2018

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Serum Protein (TOTAL)

Serum proteins are primarily albumin (50-60%, produced by the liver), but also include globulins, and other proteins. 

Serum proteins:

  • Maintain water balance in the blood through osmotic pressure
  • Transport blood components and nutritional elements
  • Help the immune system
  • Help with coagulation

Increased protein levels may be seen in:

  • Dehydration
  • Liver disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lupus
  • Collagen vascular disease
  • Some cancers
  • Hemoconcentration

Decreased protein levels may be seen in:

  • Liver disease (decreased production)
  • Malnutrition (decreased production)
  • Diarrhea (increased loss)
  • Renal disease (increased loss)
  • Severe burns (increased loss)
  • Hemorrhage (increased loss)
  • Pregnancy (dilutional)

Normal Values*

Men-Women 3.8-5.0 g/dl 38-50 g/L
Pregnancy 3.0-4.0 g/dl 38-50 g/L

*These are general values taken from a variety of sources. The actual normal values may vary from lab to lab and from one type of testing protocol to another.