• Albumin

    A protein found in almost all animal tissues and in many plant tissues. Amounts and types of albumin in urine, blood, and other body tissues form the basis of many laboratory tests. Main functions include: transport substances within the blood and maintain normal blood volume through osmotic pressure.

    Primary component of origin

    Plasma.

    Percent of component

    Albumin constitutes about 55% of the proteins in the plasma.

    Production

    Synthesized in the liver.

    Medicinal Value

    In the clinical setting, sometimes used to replace body fluids lost through hemorrhage or tissue edema and to treat shock (thus used as a volume expander), and to treat liver disease. A carrier molecule often added to certain pharmaceuticals to help them stay in the blood stream, and not escape the capillaries.

    Risks

    As with all plasma products there is a risk of transmission of infectious agents.

    Pharmaceuticals, found in

    darbepoetin)

    Alternatives

    For shock and edema: hetastarch (Hespan, Hextend ), or pentastarch (Pentaspan ); for albumin-free erythropoietin: Recormon, Eprex (non-U.S.).

    See also

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