Objective: Hypoalbuminemia in acute stroke patients is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. The aim of our study was to determine the frequency and correlates of hypoalbuminemia in unselected cohort of patients with acute cerebral infarction.
Design: Prospective study.
Setting: University hospital.
Subjects: Seven hundred and five consecutive ischemic stroke patients.
Methods: Albumin and other serum protein fractions were measured within 36 h after stroke using electrophoresis.
Results: Hypoalbuminemia defined as serum albumin level <35 g/l was found in 45.5% of patients. Serum albumin level correlates significantly with age (r=-0.13, P<0.01), Scandinavian Stroke Scale score (r=0.14, P<0.01), body temperature on admission (r=0.14, P<0.01), leukocyte count (r=-0.17, P<0.01), fasting glucose (r=-0.16, P<0.01), total cholesterol (r=0.14, P<0.01), alpha1-globulin (r=-0.48, P<0.01), alpha2-globulin (r=-0.49, P<0.01), beta-globulin (r=-0.26, P<0.01) and gamma-globulin (r=-0.35, P<0.01).
Conclusions: Hypoalbuminemia is a frequent finding in acute stroke patients and it is associated with more severe stroke and pro-inflammatory pattern of serum protein electrophoresis.