What is Hypoalbuminemia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

This disease can be caused by decreased production, increase or loss, redistribution, or dilution of albumin in the blood.

Hypoalbuminemia is a common phenomenon in patients with severe diseases. The treatment should focus on the underlying cause rather than the simple replacement of albumin.

Hypoalbuminemia is a common finding in critically ill patients who are hospitalized. When the disease leads to moderate or severe hypoalbuminemia (ie albumin <2 mg / dl), detrimental consequences can influence the clinical course and the negative impact on patients’ life and health prognosis.

In fact, several studies in humans and a few veterinarians have shown that hypoalbuminemia correlates with a poorer prognosis . Treatment considerations for patients should address the consequences and causes of hypoalbuminemia.

Its causes?

They can be divided into four general categories: decreased albumin synthesis, loss of albumin, redistribution of albumin to places outside the intravascular space, and dilution of albumin within the intravascular space. The cause of hypoalbuminemia in a particular patient is often multifactorial.

For patients with hypoalbuminemia and critical illness, albumin administration has not been shown to reduce mortality.

Which is the treatment?

There are limited indications for albumin supplementation , and considerable clinical judgment is required when albumin is administered.

Albumin has been used as a part of regimens designed to prevent hepatorenal syndrome in patients with cirrhosis; however, this is controversial and the benefit in survival has not been clearly established.

In general, albumin is not given specifically to treat hypoalbuminemia, which is a marker of serious disease.

Considering fluid resuscitation more generally, recent research found that 6% of hydroxyethyl starch used for resuscitation in patients with severe sepsis was associated with a significant increase in acute renal failure, calling this approach in question .

The most effective method of minimizing hypoalbuminemia and restoring oncotic pressure is by creating a positive nitrogen balance. This is usually achieved by enteral protein feeding and reversing the inflammatory state, if present.

Clearly, patients with nephrotic syndrome need to treat nephrosis as a major problem. The importance of enteral nutrition as an early and continuous treatment for hypoalbuminemia can not be overstated.