Prealbumin, renamed transthyretin, is a non-glycosylated protein with a molecular mass of 34.98 kDa. This protein is synthesised in the liver. Prealbumin is a good indicator of the nutritional status of the patient.
Its serum concentration will decrease in the case of liver disease, protein malnutrition, or in case of the acute inflammatory phase. A zinc deficiency will be detected by a low serum concentration of prealbumin and vitamin A.
The serum concentration of prealbumin increases in the case of chronic renal diseases, including diabetic nephropathy. Its concentration also increases during treatment using corticosteroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. An increase in the concentration of prealbumin can also be caused by Hodgkin’s disease.