Review article: albumin as a drug--biological effects of albumin unrelated to oncotic pressure

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Dec;16 Suppl 5:6-11. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.16.s5.2.x.


Albumin is the main determinant of plasma oncotic pressure and it plays a pivotal role in modulating the distribution of fluids between compartments. Moreover, it has many other biological properties which may be important not only for its physiological actions but also for its therapeutic effects. Among the non-oncotic properties are its capacity of molecule transportation and free radical scavenging, its ability to modulate capillar permeability, neutrophil adhesion and activation and its haemostatic effects. The following article reviews these biological effects as well as its structure, synthesis, catabolism and distribution.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Drug Interactions
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use
  • Hemorheology / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Serum Albumin / pharmacology
  • Serum Albumin / physiology
  • Serum Albumin / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Anticoagulants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Serum Albumin