Total Protein Test
If your doctor thinks that you have symptoms of a liver or kidney disorder
A blood taken from a vein
The total protein test is a rough measure of all of the proteins in the plasma portion of your blood. Proteins are important building blocks of all cells and tissues; they are important for body growth and health. Total protein measures the combined amount of two classes of proteins, albumin and globulin. Albumin is a carrier of many small molecules, but its main purpose is to keep fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, while globulin proteins include enzymes, antibodies, and more than 500 other proteins.
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is collected by needle from a vein.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.
How is it used?
When is it requested?
What does the test result mean?
Low total protein levels can suggest a liver disorder, a kidney disorder, or a disorder in which protein is not digested or absorbed properly. More specific tests, such as albumin and liver enzyme blood tests, must be performed to make an accurate diagnosis. High total protein levels can indicate dehydration or some types of cancer that lead to an accumulation of an abnormal protein (such as multiple myeloma).
Is there anything else I should know?
Can I test for protein levels at home?