Serum Albumin Levels in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Role as a Predictor of Outcome
Background Serum albumin has long been considered as an outcome marker in various critical illnesses. The aim of our study is to ascertain the role of serum albumin as a predictor of outcome in severe head injury patients.
Materials and Methods This is a prospective observational study of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Depending on the serum albumin level at admission, patients were dichotomized into two groups: one with normal serum albumin and other with hypoalbuminemia. Their outcomes at 6-month follow-up were assessed by the modified Glasgow Outcome Score.
Result Eighty patients (57 males and 23 females) with severe TBI were included in the study. The mean age of the study patients was 39.6 + 13.1 years and the mean serum albumin level at admission was 3.7 + 1.2 g/dL with lowest being 2.2 mmol/L and highest being 6.1 mmol/L. Thirty-four patients (42.5%) had low serum albumin level (< 3.5 g/dL) at admission. At 6-month follow-up, 58 (72.5%) patients had a good neurological outcome and 22 (27.5%) had a poor outcome. The group with normal serum albumin levels showed a significantly better outcome compared with the hypoalbuminemia group (p = 0.01). On multiple regression analysis, low serum albumin emerged as the only predictor of the poor outcome in severe head injury patients.
Conclusion Serum albumin at admission is an independent predictor of outcome in severe TBI patients. Larger prospective studies are required to confirm these findings.
11 August 2020 (online)
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