Is Prealbumin and Albumin the Same?

Prealbumin and albumin are two proteins found in the blood. They are closely related to one another, but the two are not the same. The levels of prealbumin and albumin vary in different age groups and sexes. A prealbumin test can help health care practitioners determine if a patient is in danger of malnutrition or has a high level of this protein.


Prealbumin and albumin are two proteins that are both found in the blood. Both proteins help transport many smaller molecules and vitamins throughout the body. They also help maintain the fluid levels in the bloodstream, which helps the body heal from injuries. While they may appear similar in appearance, they are actually quite different. Prealbumin carries vitamin A and thyroid hormones throughout the body, and helps the body regulate energy levels.

Prealbumin is a protein that is synthesized by the liver. It has a shorter half-life than albumin and is more sensitive. The main task of prealbumin is to transport and bind proteins. Although the name prealbumin is misleading, it is essential to note that the protein concentration in the bloodstream is much lower than in the case of albumin.

Prealbumin levels are generally not affected by hydration status or comorbidities. However, it may be affected by other factors, such as inflammatory processes within the body. For instance, the use of corticosteroids, or even Hodgkin’s disease, may lead to low levels of prealbumin.

Prealbumin is produced by the liver and is present in the blood in a retinol-binding-prealbumin complex. Prealbumin levels in the blood decrease in patients with protein-energy malnutrition or those with liver failure. The level of prealbumin is often used to identify malnutrition in children and adults. However, more studies are needed to learn more about the role of prealbumin as an indicator of nutritional status.


Albumin and prealbumin are both types of proteins that transport various small molecules through the blood. Prealbumin is primarily involved in transporting thyroid hormone and retinol, while albumin is responsible for transporting many other molecules in the blood. Both are important in the body’s functions, as they maintain normal colloidal osmotic pressure and help fluid move along vascular spaces. When either one is lacking, a person may experience edema, or swelling of the extremities.

Prealbumin and albumin are both made in the liver, and both are present in the blood. The difference between them lies in their biochemical composition. Prealbumin is synthesized by the liver and is part of the retinol-binding-prealbumin complex. It has a half-life of two to three days, and its concentration decreases with protein-energy malnutrition and certain diseases. Prealbumin concentrations are used as indicators of malnutrition, but more research is needed to determine their role and clinical utility.

While both levels are important, prealbumin has been used more frequently in clinical practice. It can provide a more accurate picture of nutrition status than albumin. It can also reflect hepatic protein synthesis capabilities. Prealbumin has a shorter half-life, making it more useful for monitoring nutritional status. A decrease in prealbumin can indicate a nutritional deficiency, whereas an increase in albumin can be an indication of a decreased intake of protein in the diet.


The relationship between preoperative serum albumin and postoperative complications is poorly understood. The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of 191 patients undergoing liver transplantation (LT) from 2015 to 2019. Patients were divided into two groups according to preoperative prealbumin levels: those with normal prealbumin levels and those with low prealbumin levels. The association between preoperative prealbumin levels and postoperative complications was assessed in each subgroup using univariable logistic regression analyses.

In one study, serum prealbumin levels were associated with in-hospital mortality and 90-day mortality rates. Other factors associated with pre-albumin levels included TNM stage and the presence of metastatic lymph nodes. However, the correlation between pre-albumin and albumin was not significant. The results of this study need to be replicated in more controlled studies.

There are other studies examining the relationship between prealbumin and mortality. For example, researchers examined the correlation between prealbumin levels and mortality in women with epithelial ovarian cancer. In those studies, the levels of prealbumin were associated with an elevated risk of death in patients who had low levels of prealbumin.

Another study examined the relationship between tumor stage and prealbumin levels. Prealbumin levels and their change over time were independent risk factors for 90-day mortality. These findings add to the predictive power of prealbumin over conventional covariates. However, larger clinical samples are necessary to verify these findings.

This study also explored the association between prealbumin and CRP. In addition, researchers looked at the correlation between prealbumin and CRP levels on POD 7 and pre-operative day seven. In addition, patients’ BMI and serum albumin levels were correlated with their clinical symptoms. They were more closely related to clinical symptoms than the FACED score.


The interpretation of prealbumin and albumin levels can be difficult. Several clinical and laboratory tests and assessments are needed to properly interpret the results. While the prealbumin level alone does not indicate a medical condition, it can be helpful in identifying conditions that cause high levels. Similarly, high levels of albumin may indicate a problem with inflammation.

Albumin is a protein found in plasma. It helps carry vitamins and other nutrients throughout the body. It also helps the body maintain fluid levels. It can also help the body heal faster following surgery. Similarly, prealbumin helps carry thyroid hormones and vitamin A throughout the body. It also helps regulate energy levels.

Traditionally, prealbumin has been used in malnutrition diagnosis and in monitoring patients at risk for poor nutrition. But recent studies suggest that the nutrient is more complex than previously thought and needs more research. While there is no single clinical guideline for interpreting prealbumin, it may be necessary to assess prealbumin levels in malnourished patients, those with certain diseases, or those on parenteral or artificial nutrition.

Serum prealbumin and albumin concentrations are directly correlated. This association was significant in predicting mortality. When prealbumin concentrations were within the reference range, the relative risk was reduced by about six percent. However, these associations were not significant when other clinical factors, such as serum albumin, were considered.


Prealbumin is a small protein that has been widely studied as a nutritional and prognostic marker. Despite its low concentration in blood, low sensitivity, and low specificity, prealbumin analytical methods are being developed and could help establish prealbumin as a useful biomarker. This short review explores the current literature on the uses of prealbumin, clinical applications, and new developments in analytical methodology. It also reviews its role in malnutrition and its potential as a biomarker.

Prealbumin levels in neonates are an important biomarker for growth. In one study, it correlated significantly with both anthropometric measurements and calorie intake. In addition, prealbumin levels were lowest in late preterm infants, which are often malnourished and neglected in the NICU.

In another study, researchers found that patients receiving formulas rich in branch chain amino acids recovered from sepsis more rapidly. Their recovery was correlated with higher prealbumin levels. Therefore, prealbumin may help in patients with poor renal function. However, prealbumin can be harmful if there is a comorbid condition, inflammation, or infection.

While the uses of prealbumin are not clear, it has proven to be a useful marker of nutritional status. This test has been used to detect protein-calorie malnutrition and to monitor patients who receive total parenteral nutrition (TPN). It is also used to monitor nutritional status in hemodialysis patients.