Albumin is the most abundant serum protein produced by the liver. In clinical practice the serum level of albumin continues to be used as an important marker of the presence, progress or ofthe improvement of many diseases, even though it is the complex end result of synthesis, degradation a. nd distribution between intra- and extravascular space. The clinical history of albumin began as early as in 1837, when Ancell first recognized "albumen" and noted that this protein is needed for trans port functions, for maintaining fluidity of the vascular system and for the prevention of edema. However, the important physiological properties of serum proteins and their role in the regulation ofthe oncotic pressure were demonstrated later by the physiologist E. H. Starling in 1895. In 1917 the clinician A. A. Epstein first described the edema in patients with the nephro tic syndrome as being a result of a very low level of serum albumin. Al though the determination of serum albumin concentration became more popular after Howe in 1921 introduced the technique of separation of serum globulins from albumin by sodium sulfate, the first preparations of human serum albumin were made available for clinical use in only 1941 by the development of plasma fractionation by Cohn and his coworkers at Harvard Medical School.