Use of albumin infusion for cirrhosis-related complications: An international position statement

JHEP Rep. 2023 May 5;5(8):100785. doi: 10.1016/j.jhepr.2023.100785. eCollection 2023 Aug.


Background & aims: Numerous studies have evaluated the role of human albumin (HA) in managing various liver cirrhosis-related complications. However, their conclusions remain partially controversial, probably because HA was evaluated in different settings, including indications, patient characteristics, and dosage and duration of therapy.

Methods: Thirty-three investigators from 19 countries with expertise in the management of liver cirrhosis-related complications were invited to organise an International Special Interest Group. A three-round Delphi consensus process was conducted to complete the international position statement on the use of HA for treatment of liver cirrhosis-related complications.

Results: Twelve clinically significant position statements were proposed. Short-term infusion of HA should be recommended for the management of hepatorenal syndrome, large volume paracentesis, and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in liver cirrhosis. Its effects on the prevention or treatment of other liver cirrhosis-related complications should be further elucidated. Long-term HA administration can be considered in specific settings. Pulmonary oedema should be closely monitored as a potential adverse effect in cirrhotic patients receiving HA infusion.

Conclusions: Based on the currently available evidence, the international position statement suggests the potential benefits of HA for the management of multiple liver cirrhosis-related complications and summarises its safety profile. However, its optimal timing and infusion strategy remain to be further elucidated.

Impact and implications: Thirty-three investigators from 19 countries proposed 12 position statements on the use of human albumin (HA) infusion in liver cirrhosis-related complications. Based on current evidence, short-term HA infusion should be recommended for the management of HRS, LVP, and SBP; whereas, long-term HA administration can be considered in the setting where budget and logistical issues can be resolved. However, pulmonary oedema should be closely monitored in cirrhotic patients who receive HA infusion.

Keywords: Decompensated; Human albumin; Kidney injury; Liver failure; Management; Portal hypertension; Sepsis.