Albumin is produced by the liver and it is the most abundant protein in serum. High albumin concentrations typically result from dehydration, since as the water content of serum decreases, the relative concentration of albumin increases. Decreased albumin concentrations are often caused by liver failure, inflammatory diseases, or protein loss via the kidneys or gut. Since albumin is important for blood oncotic pressure, decreased albumin concentrations lead to edema and ascites, the leakage of fluids from the blood into tissues.