2) Diseases previously listed as possible causes of decreased albumin and decreased globulin. Although loss of both albumin
and globulin typically occurs with these diseases, a concurrent immune response may cause increased production of globulins
and result in normal to increased globulin concentrations. These diseases should also be considered when hypoalbuminemia and
normal to increased globulin concentrations are detected.
- Hypoglobulinemia with normal to increased albumin concentration: Hypoglobulinemia in the absence of hypoalbuminemia is generally the result of decreased beta or gamma globulin concentration.
Decreased alpha globulin concentration alone does not result in decreased total globulin concentration. Decreased beta or
gamma globulin concentration in the absence of hypoalbuminemia is almost always the result of decreased immunoglobulin concentration.
Such decreases can occur in the following disorders:
- Failure of passive transfer. Ingestion of colostrums and absorption of immunoglobulins from colostrums is referred to as passive
transfer. Since most animals are born with minimal immunoglobulin concentrations, this process plays an important role in
transferring resistance to infection during the neonatal period. Failure to ingest colostrum and/or to absorb immunoglobulins
from colostrum is referred to as failure of passive transfer and is well documented in domestic animals.
- Inherited or acquired immune deficiency. Immune deficiency involving B-lymphocytes and/or plasma cells can result in low
concentrations of immunoglobulins and, in some cases, low concentrations of total globulins. Immune deficiencies resulting
in low globulin concentrations occur in puppies (combined immune deficiency and selective IgA deficiency).
What’s your question? Send your pediatric/geriatric related questions to: Pediatric/Geriatric Protocol, DVM Newsmagazine, 7500 Old Oak Blvd., Cleveland,
OH 44130. Your questions will be answered by Dr. Hoskins in upcoming columns.