Effect of Preoperative Albumin Levels on Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Left Ventricular Device Implantation
Hypoalbuminemia is a well-known predictor of morbidity and mortality in cardiac surgery. Our aim was to establish the impact of serum albumin on outcomes after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. This was a single-institution retrospective review, including all patients who underwent LVAD implantation between March 2006 and June 2014. Two hundred patients were included in the analysis. Mean serum albumin was 3.27 ± 0.47 g/dl, with 7% in the low albumin group (3.5 mg/dl). Lower albumin was associated with a significant increase in postoperative renal failure (42.9 vs. 16.5 vs. 17.3%; p = 0.05) and prolonged hospitalization (median 28.5 vs. 16 vs. 15.5 days; p = 0.008). Six month, 1 year, and 5 year survival was 79%, 79%, and 49% with low, 84%, 78%, and 51% with mid-range, and 94%, 88%, and 60% with normal albumin, respectively (p = 0.22). Preoperative hypoalbuminemia is associated with postoperative acute renal failure (ARF) and prolonged hospitalization after LVAD implantation, with no effect on overall survival. Hypoalbuminemia is most likely a marker of advanced disease and should not, in itself, be considered a contraindication to LVAD candidacy.