It is known that glycation among various proteins is increased in diabetic patients compared with non-diabetic subjects. Currently, among these glycated proteins, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) is used as the gold standard index of glycemic control in clinical practice for diabetes treatment. However, HbA1C does not accurately reflect the actual status of glycemic control in some conditions where plasma glucose changes during short term, and in patients who have diseases such as anemia and variant hemoglobin. In comparison, another index of glycemic control, glycated albumin (GA), more accurately reflects changes in plasma glucose during short term and also postprandial plasma glucose. Although GA is not influenced by disorders of hemoglobin metabolism, it is affected by disorders of albumin metabolism. This review summarizes diseases and pathological conditions where GA measurement is useful. These include the status of glycemic control changes during short term, diseases which cause postprandial hyperglycemia, iron deficiency anemia, pregnancy, chronic liver disease (liver cirrhosis), chronic renal failure (diabetic nephropathy), and variant hemoglobin.
The Japan Endocrine Society