Reasons, Preparation & Procedure For Conducting a Prealbumin Blood Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Prealbumin Blood Test

The prealbumin test is one which goes by other names such as the transthyretin test. This is a test which essentially looks at prealbumin levels which may be found in the person's blood. In most cases, doctors do not refer to it as the transthyretin test but as the prealbumin blood test.

Reasons Why It is Conducted

Protein-calorie malnutrition would be the primary reason why a prealbumin would be deemed necessary. Diagnosis and detection of such maturation would be made possible through this transthyretin test. This is typically the case where the patient is facing an increased risk where malnutrition is concerned. This is typically linked to a chronic illness in addition to critical illnesses. Thus, unless there is a greater likelihood that you will have protein-calorie malnutrition, you would usually not have to face this test. There could be a number of reasons why your body is facing a protein deficiency such as a problem related to the kinds of foods you ingest as well as a rise in protein requirements. When faced with this particular protein problem, your body would react by breaking down not only body fat but also muscle fat. Thus you could be faced with a variety of physical problems. Children too are deeply affected by this kind of malnutrition. Your doctor could recommend a prealbumin test in other cases such as preparation for scheduled surgery. For some people, such malnutrition is a natural consequence of a hospital stay following a major surgery. The test looks for prealbumin since this is nothing but a protein which is largely produced by our body's liver. The thyroid hormone thyroxine is just one of the substances that would be carried by this particular protein.


In most cases, the prealbumin blood test itself would not call for special preparation. Do talk to your doctor about dietary advice, regulation and possible correction of the malnutrition problem.


The prealbumin test would usually be ordered by a doctor and a blood sample taken. There is no special prealbumin blood test collection method and one can expect a simple blood test and the usual discomfort associated with this test method. Once the blood is collected, prealbumin levels are noted and the report would be looked at by your health care practitioner. The results of this test would help with a brief look at the nutritional status of the individual.