Preoperative serum albumin level as a predictor of surgical complications after emergency abdominal surgery

Sharath Kumar V., Dhruva G. Prakash, Venkatasiva Krishna Pottendla


Background: Hypoalbumenia has been shown to be associated with increased morbidity and mortality in acute surgical patients due to increased catabolism. This study intends to correlate between hypoalbumenia and postoperative complications in patients undergoing emergency abdominal surgery.

Methods: A prospective study is done in a rural tertiary care centre in a total of 190 patients undergoing emergency abdominal surgery after obtaining ethical clearance. In this study preoperative serum albumin and postoperative complications including death up to postoperative day thirty were recorded and gathered using a checklist designed for the study and analysed. Serum albumin less than 3.5g/dl is considered as hypoalbumenia in this study. The correlation between preoperative serum albumin and postoperative morbidity and mortality is assessed.

Results: In a total of 190 patients, 93 (48.9%) patients had morbidity and 27 (14.2%) patients had mortality. Preoperative serum albumin less than 3.5g/dl is found in 120 (63.1%) cases and 70 (36.9%) patients has same or more than 3.5g/dl. Patients with preoperative serum albumin less than 3.5g/dl has morbidity in 87 (45.8%) patients than that of normal preoperative serum albumin level which is 6 (3.1%) cases (p= <0.0001, chi-square =72.31). The total mortality is 27 (14.2%) in which all mortality is found in low albumin group compared to no mortality in patients with normal serum albumin. As the albumin level decreases the risk of morbidity and mortality increases with majority of complication in this study occurring in patients with albumin group less than 2.5g/dl to 3g/dl.

Conclusions: Preoperative serum albumin is a good predictor of surgical outcome after emergency abdominal surgery.


Morbidity, Mortality, Surgery, Serum albumin

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