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Use of an ion exchange chromatographic method and a colorimetric method with thiobarbituric acid showed that levels of nonenzymatically glucosylated serum albumin were increased in patients with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus compared to controls. The two methods correlated well (r = 0.99) and clearly discriminated between normal and poorly controlled diabetic populations. The levels of glycosylated hemoglobin were also measured in both populations. Several patients apparently in good control based on glycosylated hemoglobin measurements were found to have increased levels of glycosylated albumin. Because albumin has a shorter circulating half-life than does the human erythrocyte, the plasma concentration of glucosylated albumin should be expected to reflect short-term control of hyperglycemia in diabetes. The studies reported here suggest that the level of glucosylated albumin may indeed be a sensitive indicator of moderate hyperglycemia and of early glucose intolerance.


Guthrow CE, Morris MA, Day JF, Thorpe SR, Baynes JW. (1979). Enhanced nonenzymatic glycosylation of human serum albumin in diabetes mellitus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 76(9): 4258-4261.

© Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1979, National Academy of Sciences

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