The hepatic-derived plasma proteins perform a variety of functions necessary for the maintenance of physiological and metabolic homeostasis, and the increased morbidity and mortality associated with lowered plasma concentrations of these proteins underscores their physiological importance. 1 The plasma proteins can be loosely divided into two groups: proteins involved in the transport of nutrients, hormones, metabolites, and drugs; and proteins involved in host defense. In the acute-phase response to the stress of infection or injury, the plasma concentrations of many transport proteins decrease; hence, they are described as negative acute-phase proteins. 2 , 3 The plasma concentrations of those proteins involved in host defenses increase under the same circumstances, and members of this group are often referred to as the positive acute-phase proteins. 2 , 3