Comparing the Effects of Hydroxyethyl Starch and Albumin in Cirrhotic Patients with Tense Ascites; a Randomized Clinical Trial

Adv J Emerg Med. 2017 Oct 12;1(1):e7. doi: 10.22114/AJEM.v1i1.17. eCollection 2017 Fall.


Introduction: Large-volume paracentesis is one of the usual treatments for cirrhotic patients with tense ascites, which may cause different complications including decreased cardiac preload, suppressed renin angiotensin system, inactivation of sympathetic nervous system, electrolyte imbalances, etc.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of administrating hydroxyethyl starch (HES) and albumin in cirrhotic patients with tense ascites in order to reduce the paracentesis complications.

Methods: In the present randomized clinical trial, 108 cirrhotic patients with tense ascites were enrolled. The patients were randomly divided into 3 groups. In group A, albumin 20% with 5 g/L dose of paracentesis fluid, in group B, HES 6% dissolved in saline were administered, and in group C, a combination of albumin 20% and HES 6% with half the dosage administrated to two other groups were prescribed. Then biochemical panel, and liver function tests and renal and electrolyte complications were compared between the groups.

Results: The results obtained after intervention did not show significant differences between the groups regarding weight (p=0.102), heart rate and platelet count (both p=0.094), hematocrit (p=0.09), creatinine (p=0.421), serum sodium (p=0.743) and potassium (p=0.147), total bilirubin (p=0.375) and urine volume (p=0.421). Additionally, we concluded that mean arterial pressure of patients who had received albumin was higher than the other 2 groups (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The results of the present study showed the similar effects of HES and albumin in cirrhotic patients with tense ascites undergoing large-volume paracentesis.

Keywords: Albumins; Ascites; Hydroxyethyl starch derivatives; Liver cirrhosis; Serum albumin.