Korean Journal of Critical Care Medicine (대한중환자의학회지), Vol.28(4) : 247~254, 2013
Korean Journal of Critical Care Medicine (대한중환자의학회지)
Many studies have shown that serum albumin and prealbumin levels correlate with patient outcomes in critically ill patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical significance of prealbumin and albumin levels in patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) after emergency surgery for acute peritonitis.
We examined serum albumin and prealbumin as markers for the prediction of patient outcome in 51 patients admitted to the ICU after emergency surgery from January to December in 2012. Biochemical parameters were measured postoperatively. Serum albumin and prealbumin levels were compared between survivors and non-survivors. Patients were also divided according to the occurrence of shock and pulmonary complications (shock group vs. non-shock group, pulmonary complications group vs. non-pulmonary complications group), and outcome analysis was performed for age, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score, length of ICU stay (IS), length of hospital stay (HS), mechanical ventilation, and APACHE II score. Serum albumin and prealbumin levels were evaluated for any correlation with complications and mortality.
In patients with shock, prealbumin and albumin were significantly decreased (p = 0.047, p = 0.036). Additionally, albumin was significantly decreased in patients with pulmonary complications. Neither albumin nor prealbumin, however, showed a correlation with mortality. Prealbumin showed a correlation with serum albumin, CRP level, and HS (r = 0.511, p < 0.001; r = -0.438, p = 0.002; and r = -0.45, p = 0.001, respectively). Albumin showed a correlation with HS, IS, and APACHE II score (r = -0.404, p = 0.003; r = -0.424, p = 0.002; and r = -0.40, p = 0.006, respectively).
The initial prealbumin level measured upon admission to the ICU after gastrointestinal emergency surgery can be useful predictor of shock. The initial albumin level was significantly low in patients with shock and pulmonary complications. However, neither prealbumin nor albumin showed a correlation with mortality. Our study also showed that albumin and prealbumin levels are affected by other factors, such as massive hydration and severe inflammation, as reported in previous studies.