Albumin is the most abundant protein in human plasma, representing 55-65% of the total protein. Its primary biological functions are to transport and store a wide variety of ligands, to maintain the plasma oncotic pressure and to serve as a source of endogenous amino acids. Albumin binds and solubilizes non-polar compounds such as plasma bilirubin and long-chain fatty acids as well as binding numerous pharmaceuticals.Hyperalbuminemia is infrequent and is caused by severe dehydration and excessive venous stasis. Hypoalbuminemia may be caused by impaired synthesis e.g. in liver disease or in protein deficient diets; increased catabolism as a result of tissue damage and inflammation; reduced absorption of amino acids caused by malabsorption syndromes or malnutrition; protein loss to the exterior as observed in nephrotic syndrome, enteropathy or burns; and altered distribution e.g. in ascites. Severe hypoalbuminemia results in a serious imbalance of intravascular oncotic pressure causing the development of edema.