Hypoalbuminemia is defined as reduced serum levels of albumin below the normal range of 5.5 - 7.5 g/dL.
Albumin is synthesized by the liver and provides 75 - 80% of plasma colloid oncotic pressure, which maintains vasxular volume by preventing movement of fluid from intravascular to extravascular spaces.
The opposite condition is hyperalbuminemia.
Low serum albumin is often associated with chronic protein loss due to underlying diseases which result in protein loss from the intestine, urine or bleeding.
- Liver diseases - Chronic hepatitis, hepatic carcinoma, bile duct carcinoma
- Chronic renal disease, nephrotic syndrome, renal amyloidosis
- Protein-losing enteropathy due to enteric parasites, ulcerative colitis, gastritis, gastric carcinoma or lymphoma
Specific treatment depends on underlying disease condition, but plasma can be used to replace albumin and raise osmotic pressure.
Furosemide may be indicated in cases with pulmonary edema.
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