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Albumin synthesis in surgical patients.

Nutrition. 2013 Jan 17;

Authors: Hülshoff A, Schricker T, Elgendy H, Hatzakorzian R, Lattermann R


Albumin plasma concentrations are being used as indicators of nutritional status and hepatic function based on the assumption that plasma levels reflect the rate of albumin synthesis. However, it has been shown that albumin levels are not reliable markers of albumin synthesis under a variety of clinical conditions including inflammation, malnutrition, diabetes mellitus, liver disease, and surgical tissue trauma. To date, only a few studies have measured albumin synthesis in surgical and critically ill patients. This review summarizes the findings from these studies, which used different tracer methodology in various surgical or critically ill patient populations. The results indicate that the fractional synthesis rate of albumin appears to decrease during surgery, followed by an increase during the postoperative phase. In the early postoperative phase, albumin fractional synthesis rate can be stimulated by perioperative nutrition, if enough amino acids are being provided and if nutrition is being initiated before the operation. The physiologic meaning of albumin synthesis after surgery, however, still needs to be further clarified.

PMID: 23333435 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]