Lab Test


Test Codes

Antrim #11750, EPIC: LAB5102, SOFT: PALB

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One Gold-top SST tube. (Minimum Whole Blood: 4.0 mL)

Contact the Laboratory for the acceptability of other tube types.
See Minimum Pediatric Specimen Requirements for Microtainer® collection.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Let SST specimens clot for 30-60 minutes then immediately centrifuge to separate serum from cells. Refrigerate (2-8°C or 36-46°F) the centrifuged SST tube within two hours of collection. (Minimum: 0.5 mL)

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Centrifuged SST tube, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Minimum: 0.5 mL)

Rejection Criteria

Severely lipemic or hemolyzed specimens.

Red-top tubes with serum not separated from cells within two hours of collection.

In-Lab Processing

Let SST specimens clot 30-60 minutes. Centrifuge SST tubes or Microtainers® to separate serum from cells. Deliver immediately to the appropriate testing station.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Centrifuged SST Tubes and Microtainers® with Separator Gel
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 2-4 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Red-top Tubes and Microtainers® without Separator Gel
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 2-4 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): Unacceptable
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Serum Specimens (Pour-Overs)
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 2-4 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 7 days

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days


Farmington Hills Chemistry Laboratory
Grosse Pointe Chemistry Laboratory
Royal Oak Automated Chemistry Laboratory
Troy Chemistry Laboratory


Sunday – Saturday, 24 hours a day.
Results available within 4 hours.

Reference Range

18-44 mg/dL.

Test Methodology



Prealbumin is a carrier protein responsible for transporting approximately one-third of the active thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in the circulation. It is also involved in the binding and transport of retinol (Vitamin A). Prealbumin is a negative acute phase reactant.

Decreased levels of prealbumin are associated with malnutrition, severe liver disease, trauma, surgery and other severe illnesses.

Increased levels of prealbumin are associated with administration of corticosteroids.

Prealbumin levels are moderately low at birth and rise rapidly to adult levels during the first few weeks of life. Premature infants have lower levels of prealbumin than full term infants. Levels for full term infants are about 15 mg/dL. There are no sex related differences seen in patients ranging in age from 6 weeks to 16 years old. Adult males appear to have slightly higher values than females. Levels are not affected by pregnancy.

Clinical Utility

Serum prealbumin levels are used as an index of subclinical or marginal protein-calorie malnutrition, as an indicator of response to total parenteral nutrition (TPN), a marker of nutritional status in premature infants, and as an index of liver function in hepatobiliary disease.

CPT Codes



Last Updated


Microtainer® and Vacutainer® are registered trademarks of Becton, Dickinson and Company.
UroVysion® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories. ThinPrep® is a registered trademark of Hologic, Incorporated.


This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the
Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.