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Home > Health Library > Total Serum Protein Test
A total serum protein test measures the total amount of protein in the blood. It also measures the amounts of two major groups of proteins in the blood: albumin and globulin.
This is made mainly in the liver. It helps keep the blood from leaking out of blood vessels. Albumin also helps carry some medicines and other substances through the blood and is important for tissue growth and healing.
This is made up of different proteins called alpha, beta, and gamma types. Some globulins are made by the liver, while others are made by the immune system. Certain globulins bind with hemoglobin. Other globulins transport metals, such as iron, in the blood and help fight infection. Serum globulin can be separated into several subgroups by serum protein electrophoresis.
A test for total serum protein reports separate values for total protein, albumin, and globulin. Some types of globulin (such as alpha-1 globulin) also may be measured.
Albumin is tested to:
Globulin is tested to:
In general, there's nothing you have to do before this test, unless your doctor tells you to.
A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.
The test will take a few minutes.
When a blood sample is taken, you may feel nothing at all from the needle. Or you might feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of having a problem from this test. When a blood sample is taken, a small bruise may form at the site.
A total serum protein test is a blood test that measures the amounts of total protein, albumin, and globulin in the blood. Results are usually available within 12 hours.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
Total protein:footnote 1
6.4–8.3 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or 64–83 grams per liter (g/L)
3.5–5.0 g/dL or 35–50 g/L
Alpha-1 globulin:footnote 1
0.1–0.3 g/dL or 1–3 g/L
Alpha-2 globulin:footnote 1
0.6–1.0 g/dL or 6–10 g/L
Beta globulin:footnote 1
0.7–1.1 g/dL or 7–11 g/L
High albumin levels may be caused by:
High globulin levels may be caused by:
Low albumin levels may be caused by:
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
Current as of:
September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
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