(c) Monoclonal gammopathy
(e) A cute inflam m ation:
high a , an d
(d) N ep h ro tic sy n d ro m e:
low alb u m in , high
a n d p a n d low
elev atio n o f im m unoglobulin
F IG U R E V I-1
Serum protein electrophoretic patterns. [Pattern (a) is reproduced, with permission, from Helena Laboratories,
Beaumont, Texas.]
-globulin is largely of maternal origin and undergoes
catabolism, reaching its lowest value at about 3 months.
Adult levels for
-globulin are not reached until about
2-7 years. After age 40, the level of albumin gradually
declines and the /3-globulin fraction increases.
Albumin is synthesized in the liver. Since albumin ac-
counts for about 75% of the osmotic pressure in blood,
it is responsible for the stabilization of blood volume and
regulation of vascular fluid exchange. Therefore, hypoal-
buminemia can give rise to edema.
is uncommon, but many types of abnormalities lead to
Some hypoalbuminemic conditions
include nephrotic syndrome, proteinlosing enteropathies,
cystic fibrosis (hypoalbuminemia with edema may be an
early abnormality in infants with this disease), glomeru-
lonephritis, cirrhosis, carcinomatosis,
bacterial infec-
tions, viral hepatitis, congestive heart failure, rheumatoid
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