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Evaluation of use of human albumin in critically ill dogs: 73 cases (2003–2006)

Amy V. Trow DVM1, Elizabeth A. Rozanski DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC2, Armelle M. deLaforcade DVM, DACVECC3, and Daniel L. Chan DVM, DACVECC, DACVN4
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Section of Emergency and Critical Care, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Section of Emergency and Critical Care, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, Section of Emergency and Critical Care, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Section of Emergency and Critical Care, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objectives—To evaluate the use of human albumin in critically ill dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—73 client-owned hospitalized dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs that received human albumin were reviewed to assess effects of the use of human albumin on serum albumin concentration, colloid osmotic pressure, and total protein concentration; determine the relationships between these variables and outcome; and assess its safety. Data for signalment, diagnoses, physiologic variables, dosage, amount of crystalloid fluid administered prior to human albumin administration, complications, and outcome were reviewed. Additionally, pre- and postadministration values for serum albumin, colloid osmotic pressure, and total protein were recorded.

Results—Administration of human albumin resulted in significant changes in serum albumin, colloid osmotic pressure, and total protein. The serum albumin, total protein, degree of improvement in serum albumin, colloid osmotic pressure, and dosage of human albumin were significantly greater in survivors. Seventeen of 73 (23%) dogs had at least 1 complication that could be potentially associated with the administration of human albumin that occurred during or immediately following administration of human albumin. Three of 73 (4%) dogs had severe delayed complications.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of human albumin significantly increased serum albumin, and total protein concentrations and colloid osmotic pressure, especially in survivors. Because of the high mortality rate of the study population and other confounding factors, it was uncertain whether complications were associated with the underlying disease or with human albumin administration. Acute and delayed complications may have been under-recognized.

Abstract

Objectives—To evaluate the use of human albumin in critically ill dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—73 client-owned hospitalized dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs that received human albumin were reviewed to assess effects of the use of human albumin on serum albumin concentration, colloid osmotic pressure, and total protein concentration; determine the relationships between these variables and outcome; and assess its safety. Data for signalment, diagnoses, physiologic variables, dosage, amount of crystalloid fluid administered prior to human albumin administration, complications, and outcome were reviewed. Additionally, pre- and postadministration values for serum albumin, colloid osmotic pressure, and total protein were recorded.

Results—Administration of human albumin resulted in significant changes in serum albumin, colloid osmotic pressure, and total protein. The serum albumin, total protein, degree of improvement in serum albumin, colloid osmotic pressure, and dosage of human albumin were significantly greater in survivors. Seventeen of 73 (23%) dogs had at least 1 complication that could be potentially associated with the administration of human albumin that occurred during or immediately following administration of human albumin. Three of 73 (4%) dogs had severe delayed complications.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of human albumin significantly increased serum albumin, and total protein concentrations and colloid osmotic pressure, especially in survivors. Because of the high mortality rate of the study population and other confounding factors, it was uncertain whether complications were associated with the underlying disease or with human albumin administration. Acute and delayed complications may have been under-recognized.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Chan's present address is Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, England.

Presented in part as an abstract at the 10th International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium, San Diego, September 2004.

Address correspondence to Dr. Chan.