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Serum albumin: Accuracy and clinical use.

Clin Chim Acta. 2013 Jan 21;

Authors: Infusino I, Panteghini M


Albumin is the major plasma protein and its determination is used for the prognostic assessment of several diseases. Clinical guidelines call for monitoring of serum albumin with specific target cut-offs that are independent of the assay used. This requires accurate and equivalent results among different commercially available methods (i.e., result standardization) through a consistent definition and application of a reference measurement system. This should be associated with the definition of measurement uncertainty goals based on medical relevance of serum albumin to make results reliable for patient management. In this paper, we show that, in the current situation, if one applies analytical goals for serum albumin measurement derived from its biologic variation, the uncertainty budget derived from each step of the albumin traceability chain is probably too high to fulfil established quality levels for albumin measurement and to guarantee the accuracy needed for clinical usefulness of the test. The situation is further worsened if non specific colorimetric methods are used for albumin measurement as they represent an additional random source of uncertainty.

PMID: 23348571 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]