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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 8743187, 8 pages
Research Article

Postoperative Albumin Drop Is a Marker for Surgical Stress and a Predictor for Clinical Outcome: A Pilot Study

Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation and Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Rue du Bugnon 46, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland

Received 18 September 2015; Revised 26 November 2015; Accepted 29 November 2015

Academic Editor: Miguel Pera

Copyright © 2016 Martin Hübner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Surgical stress during major surgery may be related to adverse clinical outcomes and early quantification of stress response would be useful to allow prompt interventions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute phase protein albumin in the context of the postoperative stress response. Methods. This prospective pilot study included 70 patients undergoing frequent abdominal procedures of different magnitude. Albumin (Alb) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured once daily starting the day before surgery until postoperative day (POD) 5. Maximal Alb decrease (Alb Δ min) was correlated with clinical parameters of surgical stress, postoperative complications, and length of stay. Results. Albumin values dropped immediately after surgery by about 10 g/L ( g/L preoperatively versus  g/L at day 1, ). Alb Δ min was correlated with operation length (Pearson , ), estimated blood loss (, ), and maximal CRP values (, ). Alb Δ min levels were significantly higher in patients having complications ( versus , ) and a longer hospital stay (, ). Conclusion. Early postoperative albumin drop appeared to reflect the magnitude of surgical trauma and was correlated with adverse clinical outcomes. Its promising role as early marker for stress response deserves further prospective evaluation.