Preoperative Serum Albumin Level and Postoperative Septic Complications
Objective: To determine whether preoperative serum albumin level is significantly related to postoperative infectious and wound healing complications, after having adjusted for other risk factors.
Materials and Methods: Medical records of patients undergoing major abdominal operations, who were without predisposing conditions for infection or existing infections, and were not given total parenteral nutrition (TPN) were reviewed. Data from 140 patients in the period 1997 to 1998 were analyzed to study the association between risk factors (preoperative serum albumin, age, sex, ASA class, operative time, and body weight), and postoperative septic complications (wound dehiscence, wound infection, pneumonia, anastomotic leakage, sepsis, and intra-abdominal collection).
Results: Only low serum albumin level (less than 3.0 gm/dl) and ASA class were significantly related to postoperative septic complications (odds ratio: 8.21; 95% CI: 3.21 - 21.00 and odds ratio: 2.56; 95% CI: 1.35 - 4.88, respectively).
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that preoperative serum albumin level in patients without certain comorbid diseases is associated with postoperative infectious and surgical complications. Low serum albumin level can be used as a marker for nutritional deficiency, and TPN as nutritional supplement in certain subset of patients may reduce postoperative septic complications. Among other risk factors examined, only the ASA class was also significantly related to postoperative septic complications.
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