Human Albumin in the Management of Complications of Liver Cirrhosis

  • M. Bernardi
  • C. Maggioli
  • G. Zaccherini
Part of the Annual Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (AUICEM, volume 2012)


Human serum albumin is the most abundant plasma protein, representing about 50% of the total protein content (3.5–5 g/l). Albumin is a protein of 585 amino acids and molecular weight 66 kDa encoded by a gene on chromosome 4 and is exclusively synthesized by liver cells, which release it directly into the blood stream without storage. Under physiological conditions, only 20–30% of hepatocytes are committed to the production of 9–12 g of albumin per day; therefore, the liver has a large functional reserve, so that it can increase the synthesis of this protein by 3–4 times, if necessary. The production of albumin is mainly regulated by the osmolarity and oncotic pressure of interstitial fluid in the liver extravascular space, but it is also induced by hormonal factors (insulin, cortisol and growth hormone) and inhibited by acute phase cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α [1].


Human Serum Albumin Mean Arterial Pressure Human Albumin Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis Hepatorenal Syndrome 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Bernardi
  • C. Maggioli
  • G. Zaccherini

There are no affiliations available

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