Hypoalbuminemia Questions & Answers

Updated: May 07, 2018
  • Author: Ruben Peralta, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, MCCM  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is the function of albumin in the human body?

What are the reference serum values of albumin and what is its half-life?

How prevalent is hypoalbuminemia, and what are its common etiologies?

What is the prognostic significance of a finding of hypoalbuminemia?

Which molecular processes have a role in the pathogenesis of hypoalbuminemia?

What is the physiology of albumin synthesis?

What is the physiology of albumin distribution in the human body?

What is the physiology of albumin damage in severe end-stage hepatic cirrhosis?

What is the physiology of albumin degradation?

What causes hypoalbuminemia?

How does malnutrition cause hypoalbuminemia?

How does cirrhosis cause hypoalbuminemia?

How does nephrotic syndrome cause hypoalbuminemia?

What is the role of enteropathy in the pathogenesis of hypoalbuminemia?

How do burns cause hypoalbuminemia?

Which GI disorders cause hypoalbuminemia?

What is the role of ascites in the etiology of hypoalbuminemia?

What is the role of congestive heart failure in the etiology of hypoalbuminemia?

What is the role of oncotic pressure in the etiology of hypoalbuminemia?

What is the role of chronic inflammation in the etiology of hypoalbuminemia?

Which groups are at highest risk for hypoalbuminemia?

How does the prevalence of hypoalbuminemia vary by race?

How does the prevalence of hypoalbuminemia vary by sex?

How does the prevalence of hypoalbuminemia vary by age?

What is an important predictor of morbidity and mortality in hypoalbuminemia?

For which conditions does hypoalbuminemia predict a poor prognosis?

What are specific dietary recommendations for hypoalbuminemia?

Presentation

What leads to variance in the history of patients with hypoalbuminemia?

What should be the focus of medical history in the diagnosis of hypoalbuminemia?

How do physical findings help determine the etiology of hypoalbuminemia?

Workup

What is the role of lab studies in the evaluation of hypoalbuminemia?

How is hypocalcemia identified in persons with hypoalbuminemia?

Which comorbidities should be considered in elderly patients with hypoalbuminemia?

What is the role of imaging studies in the evaluation of hypoalbuminemia?

Which procedures are indicated in the evaluation of hypoalbuminemia?

Which histologic findings are characteristic of hypoalbuminemia due to cirrhosis?

Which histologic findings are characteristic of hypoalbuminemia due to nephrotic syndrome?

Treatment

What is the focus of treatment for hypoalbuminemia?

How is volume status monitored in hypoalbuminemia?

When is the ionized calcium level measured in patients with hypoalbuminemia?

When is surgery indicated in the treatment of hypoalbuminemia?

Which specialist consultations are needed for the management of hypoalbuminemia?

What is a recommended diet for the treatment of hypoalbuminemia?

How should activity be modified in patients with hypoalbuminemia?

What long-term monitoring is required for patients with hypoalbuminemia?

Medications

Which medications are used in the treatment of hypoalbuminemia?

What is the role of albumin administration in the treatment of critically ill patients with hypoalbuminemia?

What are the indications for albumin supplementation for the treatment of hypoalbuminemia?

What is the role of fluid resuscitation in the treatment of hypoalbuminemia?

What is the most effective method of minimizing hypoalbuminemia?