Evaluation of Glycated Albumin (GA) and GA/Hba1c Ratio for Diagnosis of Diabetes and Glycemic Control: A Comprehensive Review
Taylor & Francis
Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by chronic high blood glucose concentrations (hyperglycemia). When it is left untreated or improperly managed, it can lead to acute complications including diabetic ketoacidosis and non-ketotic hyperosmolar coma. In addition, possible long-term complications include impotence, nerve damage, stroke, chronic kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, foot ulcers, and retinopathy. Historically, universal methods to measure glycemic control for the diagnosis of diabetes included fasting plasma glucose level (FPG), 2-h plasma glucose (2HP), and random plasma glucose. However, these measurements did not provide information about glycemic control over a long period of time. To address this problem, there has been a switch in the past decade to diagnosing diabetes and its severity through measurement of blood glycated proteins such as Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and glycated albumin (GA). Diagnosis and evaluation of diabetes using glycated proteins has many advantages including high accuracy of glycemic control over a period of time. Currently, common laboratory methods used to measure glycated proteins are high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), immunoassay, and electrophoresis. HbA1c is one of the most important diagnostic factors for diabetes. However, some reports indicate that HbA1c is not a suitable marker to determine glycemic control in all diabetic patients. GA, which is not influenced by changes in the lifespan of erythrocytes, is thought to be a good alternative indicator of glycemic control in diabetic patients. Here, we review the literature that has investigated the suitability of HbA1c, GA and GA:HbA1c as indicators of long-term glycemic control and demonstrate the importance of selecting the appropriate glycated protein based on the patient’s health status in order to provide useful and modern point-of-care monitoring and treatment.