Admission serum albumin is predicitve of outcome in critically III trauma patients

Jin Sung, Grant V. Bochicchio, Manjari Joshi, Kelly Bochicchio, Ainhoa Costas, Kate Tracy, Thomas M. Scalea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


There is a paucity of data evaluating serum albumin on admission as a predictor of outcome in adult trauma patients. Our objectives were to evaluate whether or not hypoalbuminemia on admission is a predictor of adverse outcome in trauma patients. Prospective data was collected daily on 1023 patients over a 2-year period. Patients were stratified by serum albumin level on admission, age, gender, injury severity, and comorbid conditions. Outcome was measured by ICU and hospital length of stay, ventilator days, incidence of infection, and mortality. Student t test, χ2, and multilinear regression analysis were used to determine level of significance. Blunt injuries accounted for the majority (78%) of the admissions. The mean age of the study population was 43 ± 21 years with a mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) of 21.4 ± 12. The majority of patients were male (74.5%). The mean albumin level on admission was 2.9 ± 1.8. Five hundred ninety-three (58%) patients were admitted with a serum albumin level of ≥2.6 as compared to 430 patients (42%) with an admission albumin level of <2.6. Patients with a lower serum albumin level were found to have a significantly greater ICU (17.1 vs 14.2 days) and hospital length of stay (17.3 vs 20.1 days, P < 0.05), ventilator days (11.1 vs 13.5 days, P < 0.05), and mortality (P = 0.008) when matched for age and injury severity. The relative risk of infection and mortality increased greater than 2.5-fold in patients with increased age and low serum albumin when analyzed by multilinear regression analysis, P < 0.001. An admission serum albumin level of <2.6 g/dL is a significant independent predictor of morbidity and mortality in trauma patients. The combination of increased age and low albumin level was most predictive of infection and mortality. Early nutrition should be considered in these high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1102
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004


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