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Objective: The best type of resuscitation fluids for sepsis and septic shock patients remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of different concentrations of albumin on reducing the mortality rate of theses patients by meta-analysis.

Materials and Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases were used for screening the relevant studies. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible if they compared the effects of albumin with crystalloid on mortality in patients with sepsis and septic shock. Data were examined and extracted by two reviewers independently. Any disagreements were resolved by consensus with or without the help from a third reviewer. Data including mortality, sample size of the patients, and resuscitation endpoints were extracted. Meta-analysis was carried based on the corresponding odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals.

Results: Eight studies with a total of 5124 septic patients and 3482 septic shock patients were included in this study. Compared with crystalloid, the use of albumin may represent a trend toward reduced the 90-day mortality of septic patients (OR 0.91 [0.80, 1.02]; P = .11) and significantly improved the outcome of septic shock patients (OR 0.85 [0.74, 0.99]; P = .04). Further analysis showed a potentially beneficial role of both 4% to 5% and 20% albumin on reducing the mortality of septic patients. The use of 20% albumin significantly decreased the 90-day mortality of septic shock patients (OR 0.81 [0.67, 0.98]; P = .03), which was better than 4% to 5% albumin and crystalloid.

Conclusions: Albumin treatment, particularly 20% albumin, significantly reduced the 90-day mortality in septic shock patients. Both 4% to 5% and 20% of albumin may work better than crystalloid in improving the survival rate of patients with sepsis, but more relative RCTs are required for validation.

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