A total serum protein test measures the total amount of protein in the blood. It also measures the amounts of two major groups of proteins in the blood: albumin and globulin.
A test for total serum protein reports separate values for total protein, albumin, and globulin. Some types of globulin (such as alpha-1 globulin) also may be measured.
Albumin is tested to:
Globulin is tested to:
No special preparation is required before having a total serum protein test.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form (What is a PDF document?).
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.
A total serum protein test is a blood test that measures the amounts of total protein, albumin, and globulin in the blood. Results are usually available within 12 hours.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
3.5–5.0 g/dL or 35–50 g/L
0.1–0.3 g/dL or 1–3 g/L
0.6–1.0 g/dL or 6–10 g/L
0.7–1.1 g/dL or 7–11 g/L
High albumin levels may be caused by:
High globulin levels may be caused by:
Low albumin levels may be caused by:
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
Other Works Consulted
- Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.
- Handbook of Diagnostic Tests (2003). 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
- Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology|
|Last Revised||November 4, 2011|
Last Revised: November 4, 2011
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