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October 1964

Albumin Metabolism in Cystic Fibrosis

Am J Dis Child. 1964;108(4):360-365. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02090010362005

It has been shown previously that hypoalbuminemia occurs frequently in moderately and severely ill children with cystic fibrosis of the pancreas (CFP).1 Severe hypoproteinemia and edema have been seen as the presenting problems of infants subsequently shown to have CFP.2,3 Green et al1 found an average value of serum albumin concentration of 2.49±0.58 gm/100 ml in 12 patients severely ill with CFP. The serum albumin in 89 patients with varying degrees of severity of the disease usually ran 4-8 SD below normal. These authors attributed the hypoalbuminemia to either liver involvement or malnutrition.

The role of gastrointestinal tract disease in the production of hypoalbuminemia has become better understood in recent years.4-6 Increased gastrointestinal degradation of albumin, originally studied indirectly by use of I131-polyvinylpyrrolidone, has been investigated recently with a new method utilizing radio-iodinated serum albumin (human) given intravenously and Amberlite ion-exchange resin given orally.