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Acta Chir Scand. 1980;146(8):619-22.

Is albumin therapy worthwhile in surgery for colorectal cancer?


Patients with colorectal cancer undergoing elective surgery with resection of the tumour and primary anastomosis were randomly allocated into two groups. 29 patients received a total of 60-75 g of albumin postoperatively, 30 patients received no albumin and served as controls. The two groups were comparable with respect to age and sex of the patients and stage of growth of the tumour. The patients who received albumin had a significantly lower preoperative serum albumin concentration. On day 4 after the operation the serum albumin concentrations of the control patients and the patients who received albumin were 20% and 5% lower, respectively, than the preoperative value. Eight patients of the albumin group and 5 of the control group developed postoperative complications. There was no significant difference in the postoperative clinical course between the two groups. Preoperative serum albumin levels did not differ between patients who developed postoperative complications and those who had an uneventful postoperative course whether or not they received albumin postoperatively. The present study does not confirm earlier results indicating that serum albumin alone is of prognostic value for the postoperative course following colorectal surgery. Furthermore, the postoperative course is not improved by addition of albumin postoperatively and hence albumin should be given in this situation only when its specific oncotic effect is required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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