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Clin Nutr. 2011 Dec;30(6):738-45. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

Serum albumin level is a limited nutritional marker for predicting wound healing in patients with pressure ulcer: two multicenter prospective cohort studies.

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Department of Gerontological Nursing/Wound Care Management, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Faculty of Medicine Bldg. No. 5-308, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.



We aimed to investigate the predictive validity of serum albumin for pressure ulcer healing, according to patient condition and wound characteristics.


This study was a secondary analysis of pooled data from two multicentre cohort studies undertaken in 2005 and 2007. All adult patients with pressure ulcer were included and were tracked until wound healing or discharge from care. Baseline serum albumin data were obtained from medical charts.


A total of 2530 patients were analyzed. By multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis, higher serum albumin level was associated with wound healing of only superficial pressure ulcers for patients in acute/postoperative conditions (hazard ratio 1.29, 95% confidence interval 1.13-1.46) and the cutoff point was 24/25 g/L. However, the addition of serum albumin level to other factors resulted in little increase in the ability to predict wound healing as measured by the overall C-statistics. For patients in chronic/palliative conditions, serum albumin level as the continuous variable was not significantly associated with ulcer healing.


The addition of serum albumin marker may not have much advantage to predict pressure ulcer healing although its level can be associated with ulcer healing, depending on patient condition and wound depth.

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