Test Overview
Test Methodology


Test Usage

Decreases in prealbumin may aid in detection of protein calorie malnutrition (PCM), in monitoring protein repletion; decreased PAB may also indicate liver dysfunction or acute inflammation.

Reference Range *

17-42 mg/dL

* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Daily, 24 hrs
Analytic Time

2 hours

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
  • Albumin, Pre
  • PAB
  • Prealbumin
  • Thyroxine-Binding Prealbumin
  • Transthyretin
Chemical Pathology
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

Collect specimen in an SST tube. Centrifuge, aliquot serum into a plastic vial and refrigerate up to 72 hours or freeze for longer storage.

Alternate Specimen
Red top tube.
Normal Volume
0.5 mL serum
Minimum Volume
0.25 mL serum
Additional Information

PAB has a half-life of 1.9 days. It increases with restoration of nutritional status at a daily rate of more than 1 mg/dl. A PAB concentration below 8 mg/dl is common with severe PCM deficits. A serum PAB between 10 and 16 mg/dl identifies moderate PCM and patients likely to benefit from early nutritional support. Patients with cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, digestive or absorptive disease, severe trauma or burns, obese patients who may have protein malnutrition with caloric surplus, and elderly patients are at risk for developing some forms of malnutrition. PCM either primary or associated with some other condition, has been associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and susceptibility to infection. Reference limits in infants and children are lower and age-dependent.

CPT Code
Fee Code