Albumin in burn shock resuscitation: a meta-analysis of controlled clinical studies
Critical appraisal of outcomes after burn shock resuscitation with albumin has previously been restricted to small relatively old randomized trials, some with high risk of bias. Extensive recent data from nonrandomized studies assessing the use of albumin can potentially reduce bias and add precision. The objective of this meta-analysis was to determine the effect of burn shock resuscitation with albumin on mortality and morbidity in adult patients. Randomized and nonrandomized controlled clinical studies evaluating mortality and morbidity in adult patients receiving albumin for burn shock resuscitation were identified by multiple methods, including computer database searches and examination of journal contents and reference lists. Extracted data were quantitatively combined by random-effects meta-analysis. Four randomized and four nonrandomized studies with 688 total adult patients were included. Treatment effects did not differ significantly between the included randomized and nonrandomized studies. Albumin infusion during the first 24 hours showed no significant overall effect on mortality.
However, significant statistical heterogeneity was present, which could be abolished by excluding two studies at high risk of bias. After those exclusions, albumin infusion was associated with reduced mortality. The pooled odds ratio was 0.34 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.19 to 0.58 (P < .001). Albumin administration was also accompanied by decreased occurrence of compartment syndrome (pooled odds ratio, 0.19; 95% confidence interval, 0.07–0.50; P < .001).
This meta-analysis suggests that albumin can improve outcomes of burn shock resuscitation. However, the scope and quality of current evidence are limited, and additional trials are needed.