Albumin usually has a clear to pale yellow colour but may occasionally have a green discolouration, which is attributed to small amounts of the degradation products of bilirubin, biliverdin and lumirubin (1). This is normal and safe to use.
In the human body, erythrocytes are destroyed in the reticulo-endothelial system (spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow) after the termination of their normal life span.
This process releases haemoglobin, which is processed to bilirubin which then binds to albumin and is transported to the liver.
The majority of this bilirubin is then conjugated and excreted via the bile duct in the liver. Bilirubin is sensitive to light and degrades predominantly to lumirubin, which has a yellow pigment and also results in the generation of small amounts of biliverdin which is green(2).
CSL Behring manufactures two albumin products, Albumex® 4 (40 g/L) and Albumex® 20 (200 g/L). Ensure that you administer the correct concentration because error could result in severe circulatory overload or sudden cardiac failure.
Always read and refer to the product information sheet prior to the administration of Albumex® 4 or Albumex® 20.
Albumex® 4 (Human Albumin 40 g/L) is indicated in shock associated with significant hypoalbuminaemia (albumin < 25 g/L), therapeutic plasmapheresis and in cardiothoracic surgery.
This link takes you to CSL Behring's web information about Albumex® 4. You can download the product information (PI) sheet from this web page.
The PI details the pharmacology, indications, contraindications, precautions, adverse effects, use in pregnancy & lactation, adverse effects, and dosage & administration of Albumex® 4.
Albumex® 20 (Human Albumin 200 g/L) is given to critically ill patients with extremely low albumin. It is also indicated in burns, paracentesis of ascites and haemodialysis.
This link takes you to CSL Behring's web information about Albumex® 20 . You can download the product information (PI) sheet from this web page.
The PI details the pharmacology, indications, contraindications, precautions, adverse effects, use in pregnancy & lactation, adverse effects, and dosage & administration of Albumex® 20 .
- CSL Bioplasma. Albumex 4 - Product Information. CSL Limited, Australia, 2008.
- Onishi S, Itoh S, Isobe K, Ochi M, Kunikata T, Imai T. Effect of the Binding of Bilirubin to either the First Class or the Second Class of Binding Sites of the Human Serum Albumin Molecule on its Photochemical Reaction. Biochem J 1989;257(3):711–714