Human serum albumin

Human serum albumin

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Human serum albumin. Gloved hand holding the packaging for a pharmaceutical form of human serum albumin (HSA), a protein made by the liver and found in plasma, the liquid component of blood. As the most abundant protein in the circulatory system, HSA is important for transporting hormones, fatty acids and drugs around the blood. It also maintains blood pH and the concentrations of molecules in the blood (plasma volume). It is used in blood transfusions and to treat patients with liver diseases, such as cirrhosis, and hypoalbuminaemia (abnormally low blood albumin levels). Severe acute cases of low plasma volume (hypovolemic shock) are usually treated with this concentrated 20 percent solution.

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