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Does hyperalbuminemia signify disease?


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What does hyperalbuminemia signify?

Today, we’re going to tackle a question regarding hyperalbuminemia. Does this warrant a workup for multiple myeloma? First, the question …

First off, multiple myeloma is an abnormal proliferation of plasma cells – this leads to an excess of antibodies (leading to dysfunction of the immune system). The same antibodies are typically formed and is the way we classify the disease (IgG is most common). 

Patients typically present with weight loss, fatigue, weakness, bone pain, renal insufficiency, and pathological fractures. The average age of onset is 70.

Now, this is not the same protein found in chemistry panels. The total protein is mostly made of albumin and does not correlate with these abnormal antibody levels.

You may, however, see hypercalcemia and/or normocytic normochromic anemia.

C – calcium problems

R – renal insufficiency

A – anemia

B – bone probelms

Typically, hyperalbuminemia is a result of dehydration and this does not require a workup with SPEP. These patients can be left alone if asymptomatic.  

In fact, hypo-albuminemia predicts a worse prognosis for patients with multiple myeloma.

Hypoalbuminemia can be a result of: heart failure, hepatic dysfunction, malnutrition, nephrotic syndrome, protein losing enteropathy, and systemic inflammation.

Hope this was helpful!