Total protein: normal blood
Total protein is determined during the biochemical analysis of blood. This is an important indicator, which changes a doctor can make a determination about the nature and character of pathological process in various systems of the body. More in-depth study also includes the determination of the fractions of total protein.
What is total protein?
Blood is a liquid tissue of the body which performs a number of important biological functions. It comprises the formed elements (erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets) and liquid part (plasma). Plasma consists of water and dissolved various compounds – proteins, fats, carbohydrates and mineral salts. Proteins are mostly synthesized in the liver, where the fall in the General circulation. A smaller part of proteins produced by the cells of the immune system and is protective. There are several fractions of the compounds, which include:
- Albumin is synthesized in the liver, up to 70% of the total protein, the main function is to transport other compounds due to their reversible binding (transported lipids, medicinal compounds, some products of metabolism, in particular bilirubin, bile acid, and nitrogen-containing compounds).
- Globulins – synthesized mainly by cells of the immune system (lymphocytes), perform a protective function by binding and neutralization of foreign compounds and pathogens (disease-causing) microorganisms, they are also called «antibodies».
Proteins are complex compounds (polymers), which represent a chain of amino acids (monomers), which is the structural unit of a protein molecule. The total concentration of all fractions of the compound in the blood called «total protein».
How is a protein in the blood?
The definition of this indicator in the blood is part of her biochemical research. Depending on the capabilities of the laboratory where the analysis, it can be performed using several techniques:
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- Anatomicheski analysis – amino acids that make up protein molecules contain nitrogen atoms. The technique lies in the destruction of amino acids, followed by determination of the concentration of the released nitrogen, which is then judged on the level of total protein per unit volume of blood.
- Gravimetric analysis – is carried out by drying a defined volume of plasma with subsequent weighing of the dry residue on an analytical balance and accurate calculation of protein concentration.
- Precipitation analysis in the analyzed volume of plasma is added to special reagents, which lead to the folding of proteins and their transition to the insoluble phase. The degree of turbidity of the solution is judged on the number of protein compounds.
- Spectrophotometric analysis is a modern method, the essence of which consists in passing through a solution of plasma, ultraviolet light rays, some of which is absorbed by the protein molecules. On the concentration of the protein compounds is judged by the degree of absorption, which is measured by a special device (photoelectrocolorimeter).
Each technique has certain advantages and disadvantages. The most modern and reliable method of determining this indicator is a spectrophotometric study. There are other methods, but they are not widely used in clinical practice and are used mainly in the laboratories of research institutions. Regardless of the methodology for determining the indicator of the level of protein compounds in the result of analysis is displayed in g/l (weight of protein in grams contained in 1 liter of blood).
The norm of the total protein in the blood
The level of all proteins in the blood has a certain statistical norm. Her knowledge helps the physician to decipher the results of the study, as well as to make a conclusion about the possible development of the pathological process in the body. A normal indicator of the level of protein compounds is not a fixed value, it depends on the age of the person:
- Newborns – 48 – 73 g/l.
- Age from 1 month to 1 year – 47 – 72 g/l.
- Children from 1 year to 4 years – 61 – 75 g/L.
- Age 5-7 years – 52 – 78 g/l.
- Children aged 7 to 15 years – 58 – 76 g/l.
- Adults – 65 – 85 g/l.
There is also a physiological deviation in the level of protein compounds from normal values associated with starvation or overeating patient, performing excessive physical work the day before the study.
Pathological deviations from the norm
The change in the level of protein compounds in the blood may be increasing or decreasing. Increase develops due to impact several key pathological reasons, which include:
- Infectious pathology which leads to activation of the immune system and increased synthesis of globulins cells (production of antibodies). Also appears in the blood C-reactive protein which is an indicator of the acute phase of the inflammatory process.
- Autoimmune disease is characterized by the fact that the immune system begins to «mistakenly» producing antibodies to his own cells and body tissues in significant amounts.
- Cancer – development of malignant or benign tumors is often accompanied by increased production of different protein compounds by tumor cells, which then enter the blood.
In children, the increase in the level of protein compounds is often accompanied by extensive burns, severe diarrhea (diarrhea), and other conditions leading to fluid loss and blood clots. The decrease in the level of protein compounds accompanies a pathological condition, such as:
- Inflammatory disorders of the pancreas (pancreatitis), leading to reduced production of digestive enzymes involved in the breakdown of food proteins in the intestine. The result is reduced into the blood supply of amino acids necessary for the synthesis of their own proteins.
- Different pathology of the liver, reducing its functional activity (cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, steatosis) and impaired synthesis of albumin.
- Pathology of the intestines, where it interferes with the absorption of amino acids through the inflamed mucosa.
- Glomerulonephritis – autoimmune diseases of the kidneys in which the urine in a significant number of displayed proteins.
- Acute or chronic bleeding, accompanied by loss of blood and proteins.
- Severe burns – significant damage to the skin and mucous membranes accompanied by the effusion of plasma protein loss.
- Some malignant tumors, in which tumor cells in a significant number of captured protein compounds of blood.
For a reliable identification of the cause of changes in the level of protein compounds in the blood is necessarily performed additional diagnostics, which includes various methods of laboratory (General analysis of blood, immunological methods of research, determination of markers of cancer development) and instrumental (CT scan, ultrasound examination of various organs and areas of the body) research.
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