Albumin - the most abundant protein in PLASMA. Albumin transports various molecules through the BLOOD and helps sustain the blood’s oncotic pressure, keeping fluid from seeping into the tissues. Albumin molecules are larger than the molecules it transports, allowing those substances, such as electrolytes and hormones, to pass through the walls of the blood vessels while the albumin molecules remain within the blood vessels. Albumin is among the numerous plasma proteins the LIVER produces. Albumin is also available as a blood product for transfusion. Blood banks obtain it by separating it, using a cell separator, from donated whole blood or plasma.
The blood of a healthy adult contains 3.5 to 5.0 grams per deciliter (g/dL) of albumin, which makes up about 2 percent of the blood’s total volume. A low serum albumin level (hypoalbuminemia, decreased concentration of albumin in the blood) often indicates liver disease such as CIRRHOSIS or kidney disease such as GLOMERULONEPHRITIS. Hypoalbuminemia also occurs with serious BURNS. An elevated albumin level (hyperalbuminemia, increased concentration of albumin in the blood) occurs less commonly and often signals extended DEHYDRATION or DIABETES INSIPIDUS, a disorder of the ADRENAL GLANDS.
Resource: Facts On File Encyclopedia Of Health And Medicine
What is von Willebrand’s disease and Definition A hereditary, genetic bleeding disorder resulting from a deficiency or molecular abnormality of clotting factor VIII. Unlike HEMOPHILIA A, which also results from clotting factor VIII deficiency, von Willebrand’s disease affects both men and women equally. Its inheritance pattern is autosomal
What is Thymus and Definition A structure of lymphatic tissue located in the upper central chest, behind the sternum (breastbone) midway between top of the HEART and the sternal notch at the base of the THROAT. The thymus is fairly large at birth, spreading in a loosely shaped “H” across the great vessels that emerge from the heart. The tissue
What is Thymectomy A surgical OPERATION, performed under general ANESTHESIA, to remove the THYMUS, a structure of lymphatic tissue located behind the sternum (breastbone) that produces T-cells. Tendrils of the thymus often extend upward toward the THYROID GLAND and downward over the HEART. The loose structure of the thymus can make it challenging to
What is Thrombocytopenia and Definition A disorder of the BLOOD in which the blood contains too few platelets (also called thrombocytes), the cells active in COAGULATION (clotting). Thrombocytopenia, also called thrombopenia, is a secondary condition that develops as a consequence of prolonged bleeding, aplastic ANEMIA, blood disorders such as
What is Thrombocythemia and Definition A condition of the BLOOD in which the body overproduces platelets (also called thrombocytes), resulting in dysfunctional COAGULATION. Thrombocythemia, also called thrombocytosis, is a myeloproliferative disorder that can be primary (an independently occurring disorder, also called essential or idiopathic
The largest vessel of the lymphatic system. The thoracic duct collects LYMPH from the CISTERNA CHYLI and the left upper body, and drains into the left subclavian VEIN to deliver lymph to the bloodstream. About the diameter of a pencil, the thoracic duct extends from the cisterna chyli in the central trunk to base of the neck, a distance of about 16 inches,
What is Thalassemia alpha/beta disease A genetic disorder of the BLOOD in which the body fails to produce one or more of the proteins necessary for the synthesis of HEMOGLOBIN, the protein that enables erythrocytes (red blood cells) to carry oxygen. The consequence is ANEMIA (inadequate oxygen to the cells throughout the body). There are two basic types of
What is Splenomegaly, Definition and Causes An enlarged SPLEEN. Splenomegaly signals an underlying health condition and is not itself a disorder. The spleen is a structure of lymphatic tissue. One of its key roles is to remove old or damaged BLOOD cells from circulation. Many circumstances and health conditions that cause increased numbers of blood cells
Splenectomy is a surgical OPERATION to remove the SPLEEN. Though the spleen performs many vital immune and BLOOD-related functions, it is not essential for life. Because the spleen contains 4 percent of the body’s blood volume and a third of its platelets, it is vulnerable to life-threatening hemorrhage with trauma. Doctors may also choose to remove
What is Spleen, Definition and Function A soft structure of lymphatic tissue located in the upper left abdomen to the left of the STOMACH and PANCREAS, behind the protective enclosure of the rib cage. Fibrous ligaments anchor the spleen to the stomach, COLON, and left kidney. The spleen holds about 300 milliliters of BLOOD, roughly 4 percent of the