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What do the INR and protein levels in a blood test measure?

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Quick Answer

The international normalized ratio is a measurement of how long it takes blood to clot, explains MedlinePlus. The total serum protein test measures how much protein is in a person's blood, notes WebMD.

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INR is based on the results of a prothrombin time test, states MedlinePlus. The prothrombin time test helps diagnose blood-clotting disorders by determining how long it takes plasma to clot. The results of the prothrombin time test are usually converted to an INR level. In people who do not take blood-thinning medications, a normal INR ranges from 0.8 to 1.1. People who take blood thinners usually have to maintain INR levels between 2.0 and 3.0.

The total serum protein test helps assess kidney and liver function, reports WebMD. The test is also used to determine the cause of fluid collection in the lungs or swelling in the abdomen or ankles. In addition to total serum protein, the lab report for this test also reports results for two protein groups: globulin and albumin. The globulin group is made up of several different types of protein. Albumin is a protein that aids in tissue healing, carries medications through the circulatory system and keeps blood from leaking out of blood vessels.

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