ICJR Interviews: Redefining the Serum Albumin Level for Complications

    What serum albumin level should orthopaedic surgeons aim for to reduce the risk of complications in their total hip arthroplasty (THA) patients?

    Most experts have said anything under 3.5 g/dL can be problematic. A new study from Charles L. Nelson, MD, and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia suggests the threshold can be lower.

    They evaluated the records of 25,000 primary, unilateral THA patients in the ACS-NSQIP database from 2006 to 2013, whom they stratified by preoperative serum albumin level.

    After correlating complications with these levels, Dr. Nelson and his colleagues found that the threshold for significant increases in complications occurs at 3.0 g/dL. There were no significant differences in complications between 3.0 g/dL and 3.5 g/dL.

    They recommend using 3.0 g/dL as the level at which surgeons should consider delaying THA and providing further optimization.

    Click the image above to hear Dr. Nelson describe the findings and implications of this study, “The Serum Albumin Threshold for Increasing Perioperative Complications After THA is 3.0 g/dL” (Paper 167), which was presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Orlando.

    Producer: Susan Doan-Johnson; Director: Michael Bugera; Post Production: Charles J. Maynard