Total Protein and A/G Ratio
Does this test have other names?
What is this test?
This is a blood test to measure the levels of protein in your body. Your liver makes
most of the proteins that are found in your blood. Albumin is one major type of protein.
Albumin carries many other substances around your system, including medicines and
products your body makes. Another kind of protein called globulin has other functions
in your body.
This test provides information about the amount of albumin you have compared with
globulin. This comparison is called the A/G ratio. This test is useful when your healthcare
provider suspects you have liver disease.
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test to find out whether you have liver disease, such as cirrhosis.
Symptoms of cirrhosis include:
Fluid buildup in the belly (abdomen), which causes abdominal pain and swelling
Fluid buildup in the feet, ankles, or legs
Nausea and vomiting
Lack of appetite
Spiderlike blood vessels on the skin
Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
This test can also help healthcare providers diagnose nephrotic syndrome, a condition
that affects your kidneys. In adults, this problem may be caused by diabetes or lupus.
Nephrotic syndrome causes puffiness around your eyes and in your arms and legs and
too much protein loss in your urine. Protein testing may also show abnormal results
if you have a problem that causes you to lose protein from your digestive tract.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Depending on your symptoms, you may also have blood and urine tests.
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare
Certain diseases tend to lower your level of albumin and raise your level of one or
more types of globulins. A normal range of albumin is 39 to 51 grams per liter (g/L)
of blood. The normal range for globulins varies by specific type. A normal range for
total globulins is 23 to 35 g/L.
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your
What might affect my test results?
If you are dehydrated, your protein level may appear higher than it is. This effect
is also seen with albumin. Making sure you have had enough water before the test will
give an accurate result. If the band is placed around your arm for too long during
blood collection, this can also make your albumin level seem high.
How do I get ready for this test?
Tell your healthcare provider about any symptoms you're having. Be sure your provider
knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes
medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.