The total protein test measures the total amount of two classes of proteins found in the fluid portion of your blood. These are albumin and globulin.
Proteins are important parts of all cells and tissues.
A blood sample is needed. Most of the time blood is drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.
Many medicines can interfere with blood test results.
This test is often done to diagnose nutritional problems, kidney disease or liver disease.
If total protein is abnormal, you will need to have more tests will need to be done to look for the exact cause of the problem.
The normal range is 6.0 to 8.3 gm/dL (grams per deciliter).
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
Higher-than-normal levels may be due to:
Lower-than-normal levels may be due to:
Total protein measurement may be increased during pregnancy.
Klein S. Protein-energy malnutrition. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 222.
Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 116.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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