Healthcare providers use globulin blood tests to measure protein levels in your blood. Your liver makes globulin, a protein. High levels may indicate autoimmune disease, infections or cancer. A low globulin reading may be a sign of liver or kidney disease. A globulin test may be part of liver function tests or a metabolic panel.
A globulin blood test measures the levels of a group of proteins called globulins in blood serum. Serum is the liquid part of blood. The medical term for this test is globulin electrophoresis.
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Your body needs globulins to:
Healthcare providers use globulin blood tests for:
Healthcare providers order different globulin blood tests depending on your symptoms or the condition. The two main types include:
This test measures alpha and beta globulins, which rise when there’s inflammation. It also measures albumin, another protein your liver makes. Albumin carries hormones, vitamins and enzymes through your body. It also stops fluid in your blood from leaking into tissues.
You may get a total protein test if you have, or are at risk for, liver damage or liver disease. You may also get this blood test if you have symptoms like:
This test measures the levels of gamma globulins and other trace proteins found in blood serum. Gamma globulins (also called immunoglobulins) help the immune system fight off foreign substances and infections.
Providers use this globulin test to diagnose conditions that affect the immune system, such as:
A blood globulin test is a blood draw that takes place at your provider’s office, blood testing lab or hospital. A nurse or a phlebotomist, a specialist trained in drawing blood, takes the blood sample. The process should take less than five minutes.
To draw the blood, a provider:
You may need to fast (not eat or drink) at least 12 hours before getting the blood test. Follow your healthcare provider’s directions.
Make sure your provider has a list of the medications and supplements you take. Certain medicines like corticosteroids, the birth control pill and insulin for diabetes can affect globulin levels. Your provider will tell you if you need to stop taking a medication before the blood test.
It usually takes several days for labs to analyze the samples and send results back to your provider, who will review the results with you.
Blood tests measure globulin levels in grams per deciliter (g/dL). Because laboratories can use different techniques, results may vary from lab to lab. Your provider will want to use the same lab to monitor your levels.
Normal ranges include:
A total protein test also shows the ratio of albumin to globulin or A/G ratio. The A/G ratio is a measure of the amount of albumin proteins in blood compared to globulins. Typically, your body has slightly more albumin than globulins. A normal A/G ratio is slightly more than 1.
High blood protein (hyperproteinemia) can indicate potential problems that require additional testing. These problems include:
Low globulin levels can indicate potential problems that require additional testing. These problems include:
Yes, dehydration can affect globulin levels. When people are dehydrated, globulin levels are higher.
Yes, globulin levels in pregnant people tend to be elevated. The total protein levels will increase during pregnancy and return to normal after childbirth. This fluctuation is normal and typically isn’t cause for concern.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Your healthcare provider may order a globulin blood test if you have risk factors or symptoms of certain diseases. The test can also monitor disease progression. Globulin and albumin are proteins found in the blood. Levels that are too high can indicate autoimmune disease, infections or cancers. Low levels may be a sign of liver or kidney problems. Your provider will order additional tests to make a diagnosis.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/07/2022.
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