Serum albumin in ischemic stroke patients: the higher the better. The Bergen Stroke Study

Cerebrovasc Dis. 2009;28(1):13-7. doi: 10.1159/000215938. Epub 2009 May 6.


Background: Animal studies show a neuroprotective effect of serum albumin in ischemic stroke. The neuroprotective effect of albumin in ischemic stroke in humans is not well studied. This study was aimed to determine the association of serum albumin with outcome and mortality after ischemic stroke.

Methods: In a prospective study, we included 444 patients with ischemic stroke. Serum albumin was measured at the time of admission. Stroke severity was measured at the time of admission with the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). Functional outcome was measured with the modified Rankin scale (mRS) on day 7. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the independent association between variables and outcome. Survival was analyzed by Cox regression analysis after adjusting for age, sex and NIHSS score on admission.

Results: The mean age (SD) of the patients was 70.4 (14.4) years. The median NIHSS score (interquartile range) on admission was 4 (1-8) and the median mRS score (interquartile range) on day 7 was 2 (1-3). Sixty patients (13%) died during a median follow-up period of 2 years. High serum albumin was independently associated with a better outcome (OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.05-1.20, p = 0.001). After adjusting for age, sex and NIHSS score on admission, high serum albumin was associated with lower mortality (OR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.83-0.93, p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: The current study indicates that high serum albumin is associated with better outcome and lower mortality in ischemic stroke patients. High serum albumin may be neuroprotective in ischemic stroke in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Serum Albumin / metabolism*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke / blood*
  • Stroke / diagnosis*


  • Biomarkers
  • Serum Albumin