The total protein test measures the total amount of two classes of proteins found in the fluid portion of your blood. These are albumin and globulin.
Proteins are important parts of all cells and tissues.
A blood sample is needed. Most of the time blood is drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.
Many medicines can interfere with blood test results.
This test is often done to diagnose nutritional problems, kidney disease or liver disease.
If total protein is abnormal, you will need to have more tests will need to be done to look for the exact cause of the problem.
The normal range is 6.0 to 8.3 gm/dL (grams per deciliter).
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
Higher-than-normal levels may be due to:
Lower-than-normal levels may be due to:
Total protein measurement may be increased during pregnancy.
Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 114.
Manary MJ, Trehan I. Protein-energy malnutrition. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 215.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 5/3/2015
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2016 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.