Albumin (ALB)

CPT Code: 82040
Specimen: Serum or plasma
Volume: 1 mL
Minimum Volume: 0.5 mL
Container: Red-top tube, gel-barrier tube, green-top (heparin) tube, or lavender-top (EDTA) tube
Methodology: Colorimetric
Collection: Separate serum or plasma from cells within 45 minutes of collection.  Complete clot formation should take place before centrifugation.
Reference Range: 3.4-5.0 g/dL


 Temperatures  Period
Room Temperature 8 Hours
Refrigerated (2-8 ⁰C) 2 Days
Frozen (≤ -20 ⁰C)Longer Storage



Albumin tests are used to evaluate nutritional status, blood oncotic pressure, renal disease with proteinuria and other chronic diseases. Albumin is the major protein of the blood comprising over 60% of the total protein. It is made in the liver. Albumin helps maintain the osmotic pressure (keeping water) in blood vessels and transports substances.

 Clinical Significance:

High albumin may indicate dehydration.

Low albumin is found with use of I.V. fluids, rapid hydration, overhydration; cirrhosis, other liver disease, including chronic alcoholism; in pregnancy and with oral contraceptive use; many chronic diseases including the nephrotic syndromes, neoplasia, protein-losing enteropathies (including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), peptic ulcer, thyroid disease, burns, severe skin disease, prolonged immobilization, heart failure, chronic inflammatory diseases such as the collagen diseases and other chronic catabolic states. 

Summary for Low albumin) - Decreased albumin levels can be associated with malnutrition, liver disease, and kidney disease.

Causes for Rejection:

Fluoride plasma specimen; gross hemolysis; lipemia; improper labeling

Interfering Substances:

CMPF (3-carbosy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropanoic acid) present in sera of patients with renal failure has been reported to give falsely low albumin values.

Lipemia (Intralipid) at 1000 mg/dL and above.  Magnitude of the interference could not be determined.