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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1981 Apr;25(2):125-32.

Albumin treatment following major surgery. I. Effects on plasma oncotic pressure, renal function and peripheral oedema.


The effect of a 20% albumin solution on plasma oncotic pressure, renal function and peripheral oedema was investigated in 30 adult patients undergoing elective major abdominal surgery. Half of them received an average of 173 g of albumin between the end of the operation and the 5th postoperative day, in accordance with a standardized scheme. Otherwise the same schedules for fluid therapy and blood replacement were followed in all patients. Postoperatively, serum albumin and plasma oncotic pressure were fairly normal in the albumin group, but decreased by 28% and 24% in the control group. The difference between the groups was statistically significant during the first week, but disappeared during the second week. Arm and thigh circumferences increased postoperatively to a similar extent in both groups. There were no apparent differences in circulatory variables, alveolo-arterial oxygen tension difference, incidence of wound infection or postoperative restoration of intestinal activity between the groups. Although renal and thromboembolic complications occurred only in the control group, the material is too small to permit any conclusions to be drawn from the possible difference in renal function and morbidity between the groups. The limited availability and high cost of albumin require strict indications for its use. Our results so far have failed to justify routine administration of concentrated albumin postoperatively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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