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Clinical Trial
, 22 (4), 613-9

Efficacy of Albumin Supplementation in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit: A Prospective, Randomized Study

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Clinical Trial

Efficacy of Albumin Supplementation in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit: A Prospective, Randomized Study

R Golub et al. Crit Care Med.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the efficacy of supplemental 25% albumin in reducing morbidity and mortality rates in the surgical intensive care unit (ICU).

Design: Prospective, randomized, unblinded clinical study.

Setting: Surgical ICU in a community hospital.

Patients: Two hundred nineteen patients with admission circulating albumin concentrations of < 3.0 g/dL (< 30 g/L). The groups were well matched regarding age, sex, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores and initial circulating albumin concentrations.

Interventions: The treatment group (n = 116) received 37.5 g/day of albumin until the circulating albumin concentration increased to > 3.0 g/dL (> 30 g/L). The control group (n = 103) received no supplemental albumin. Both groups received standard nutritional support.

Measurements and main results: The complication rate was 44% in the albumin group vs. 36.9% in the controls (p = .29). The albumin patients had a mortality rate of 10.3% vs. 5.8% in the control group (p = .22). There were no significant differences between the groups in the number of days spent receiving mechanical ventilation or in the tolerance to tube feedings.

Conclusions: Routine supplemental administration of 25% albumin is expensive and offers no apparent outcome advantage and should be abandoned in the treatment of patients in the surgical ICU.

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