Plasma is present in the blood and constitutes the liquid part of the blood. It is made up of 90% water which is required for hydration of body tissues. 7% of plasma is composed of proteins and looks like a pale yellow liquid. Blood plasma is made up of approximately 20% of extracellular body fluid and the composition is almost similar to interstitial fluid. The major difference between the two fluids is the presence of protein content. Interstial fluid comprise of only 2% of protein because the plasma protein molecules are way too large and hence cannot penetrate through the capillary walls located in the interstitial area. And when protein does leak in small volume, the lymph takes it up and returns it back to the blood.
There are three main groups of plasma protein:
Hemophilia or bleeding disease is caused due to the deficiency of Factor I and can be hereditary problem. Absence of fibrinogen plasma protein causes a serious disease called as fibrinogenemia . Hypofibrigenemia is although a lower form of hemophilia, it also produces medium bleeding problems. Many times the fibrinogen levels are normal but the functioning of protein is normal. Such a condition is called as Dysfibrinogenemia. People with such disorders never have problem clotting; rather they have been found to clot abnormally.
The functions of plasma proteins include:
Decrease in albumin percentage in plasma protein is an indication of kidney or liver disease. In these diseases the albumin enters the urine. High albumin levels are the indication of dehydration or congestive heart failure. Liver disease, chronic infection or rheumatoid arthritis is also indicated by the increase in the level of globulin levels. Low level globulin presence indicates liver dysfunction, anemia or even emphysema. When the fibrinogens level increases, it is an indication of increase in stroke risk, and if the patient also has blood pressure, the risk is even more. The fibrinogen levels are maintained by regular exercise, quitting smoking, maintaining ideal weight and taking proper medication.
Recent studies have revealed that extensive plasma protein binding increases the measure of drug to be absorbed, even before the therapeutic drug levels are reached. For example, acidic drugs like aspirin more often than not have been found to get substantially bounded to albumin.