Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion and albumin administration can affect kidney function. We aimed to evaluate the association between intraoperative 20% albumin administration and acute kidney injury (AKI), along with the duration of hospitalization and 30-day mortality in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery with RBC transfusion. This retrospective study included 2408 patients who received transfusions during major abdominal surgery. Patients were categorized into albumin (n = 842) or no-albumin (n = 1566) groups. We applied inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW), propensity score (PS) matching (PSM), and PS covariate adjustment to assess the effect of albumin administration on the outcomes. In the unadjusted cohort, albumin administration was significantly associated with increased risk of AKI, prolonged hospitalization, and higher 30-day mortality. However, there was no significant association between albumin administration and AKI after adjustment (OR 1.26, 95% CI 0.90-1.76 for the IPTW; OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.72-1.48 for the PSM; and OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.76-1.43 for the PS covariate adjustment methods). While albumin exposure remained associated with prolonged hospitalization after adjustment, it did not affect 30-day mortality. Our findings suggest that hyper-oncotic albumin can be safely administered to patients who are at risk of developing AKI due to RBC transfusion.
Keywords: abdominal surgery; acute kidney injury; albumin; blood transfusion; hospitalization; mortality.