Overview of prealbumin blood test
A prealbumin blood test measures the levels of prealbumin in your blood. Prealbumin is a protein that is complete in the liver. Prealbumin helps transport thyroid hormones and vitamin A through the bloodstream. It also helps control how your body uses energy. If your prealbumin levels are inferior to normal, it may be a sign of malnutrition. Malnutrition is a condition in which your body does not get the calories, vitamins, and/or minerals necessary for good health.
- Thyroxine-binding prealbumin
- Transthyretin test
Why is a prealbumin blood test done?
Prealbumin is a protein made by the liver. Your body uses it to make other proteins. If your doctor suspects that you are not getting enough protein, they may order this test for several reasons:
- If you are elderly, they may want to know if you are getting enough nutrients from your diet.
- In the case of a young child, a doctor can use this test to see if he is malnourished.
- If you plan to have surgery in a hospital, your doctor may order this test to see what kind of nutritional support you will need during treatment.
- Lastly, your doctor might do a prealbumin blood test if you have an eating disorder, to see how much protein you’ve lost.
- If you are taking any medications, including over-the-counter ones, or if you are pregnant, you should notify your doctor before the test. All of these things can affect your test results.
What do the prealbumin blood test results mean?
Test results can vary based on your age, gender, medical history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test consequences may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean to you. Low prealbumin scores mean you likely need a nutritional evaluation. Low prealbumin scores can also be a sign of liver disease, inflammation, or tissue death (tissue necrosis). High prealbumin scores can be a sign of long-term (chronic) kidney disease, steroid use, or alcoholism.
Normal results of a prealbumin blood test are:
- Grownups: 15 to 36 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 150 to 360 milligrams per liter (mg/L)
- Kids: 20 to 40 mg /dL or 200 to 400 mg /L
How is this test done?
The test is done on a blood sample. A needle is used to attract blood from a vein in your arm or hand.
Preparation for the prealbumin blood test
No preparation is necessary. Make sure your healthcare provider knows all the medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medications that do not need a prescription and any illicit drugs that you may use.
What other tests could I have in conjunction with this test?
To monitor your nutritional needs, your doctor may order a C-reactive protein test, which looks for another protein in your blood. If you appear to be malnourished, your healthcare providers may order other tests. These can include hemoglobin, albumin, iron, folate, and vitamin B12 and. other electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals.
Does this prealbumin blood test present any risks?
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries a small risk of bleeding, infection, or bruising. You may also feel dizzy. When the needle sticks your arm, you may feel a slight sting. Afterward, the site may be sore.
How does it feel
The blood sample is occupied by a vein in your arm. An elastic band is enfolded around the upper arm. It may feel tight. You may not feel anything from the needle at all, or you may feel a quick prick or prick.