by Mary Ellen Posthauer, RDN, CD, LD, FAND
Several years ago when my nutrition blog began, I discussed the issue of relying on laboratory values – in particular albumin, pre-albumin and transthyretin – as markers of nutritional status. Recently, during a discussion of nutrition and wound care, a dietitian expressed her frustration with a surgeon who kept postponing corrective abdominal surgery until a patient's nutritional status improved, as evidenced by the albumin being in the normal range. However, the patient was receiving adequate calories per enteral feeding and had gained weight. The albumin level was not reflective of the nutritional status. This discussion prompted me to revisit the issue of serum proteins as markers of nutritional status.