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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Albumin: Liver Function Test

for Veterans and the Public

Albumin - Hepatitis C for Patients

Albumin is a protein made by the liver. Albumin prevents fluid from leaking out of blood vessels into tissues.

Explanation of test results:

A low albumin level in patients with hepatitis C can be a sign of cirrhosis (advanced liver disease). Albumin levels can go up and down slightly. Very low albumin levels can cause symptoms of edema, or fluid accumulation, in the abdomen (called ascites) or in the leg (called edema).

Other things to know:

  • A low albumin level can also come from kidney disease, malnutrition, or acute illness.
  • A low albumin level causing fluid overload is often treated with diuretic medications, or "water pills."