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Alternative Names Return to topTP
Definition Return to top
The total protein test is a rough measure of all the proteins found in the fluid portion of your blood. Specifically it looks at the total amount of two classes of proteins: albumin and globulin.
Proteins are important parts of all cells and tissues. For example, albumin helps maintain a certain type of blood pressure by preventing fluid from leaking out of blood vessels.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
Blood is drawn from a vein or a capillary. The blood sample is placed into a machine called a centrifuge, which spins the blood to separate the serum from the cells. The total protein test is done on serum.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking certain drugs that can affect the test.
Drugs that can increase total protein measurements include anabolic steroids, androgens, corticosteroids, dextran, growth hormone, insulin, phenazopyridine, and progesterone.
Drugs that can decrease total protein measurements include ammonium ions, estrogens, hepatotoxic drugs, and oral contraceptives.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
This test is often done to diagnose nutritional problems, kidney disease or liver disease. If total protein is abnormal, further tests must be done to identify the specific problem.
Normal Results Return to top
The normal range is 6.0 to 8.3 gm/dl (grams per deciliter).
Normal values may vary slightly from laboratory to laboratory.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Higher-than-normal levels may be due to:
Lower-than-normal levels may be due to:
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
Considerations Return to top
Total protein measurement may be increased during pregnancy.Update Date: 5/17/2007 Updated by: Benjamin W. Van Voorhees, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Psychiatry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.