Total protein

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Also known as: TP
Formal name: Total protein

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To screen for certain liver and kidney disorders as well as other diseases

When to Get Tested?

If your doctor thinks that you have symptoms of a liver or kidney disorder

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

The Test Sample

What is being tested?

The total protein test is a rough measure of all of the proteins in the plasma portion of your blood. Proteins are important building blocks of all cells and tissues; they are important for body growth and health. Total protein measures the combined amount of two classes of proteins, albumin and globulin. Albumin is a carrier of many small molecules, but its main purpose is to keep fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, while globulin proteins include enzymes, antibodies, and more than 500 other proteins.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A blood sample is collected by needle from a vein.

The Test

Common Questions

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.