Cardiac Surgery

Albumin versus hydroxyethyl starch in cardiopulmonary bypass surgery: a meta-analysis of postoperative bleeding.

Wilkes MM, Navickis RJ, Sibbald WJ.

Hygeia Associates, Grass Valley, California 95949, USA. mwilkes@hygeiaassociates.com

BACKGROUND: This meta-analysis tested the hypothesis that cumulative blood loss during the first 24 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass is lower in patients exposed to albumin than hydroxyethyl starch (HES). METHODS: Randomized controlled trials comparing albumin and HES in cardiopulmonary bypass patients were identified by bibliographic database searches and other methods. RESULTS: Sixteen trials involving 653 randomized patients were included. In 88% of randomized comparisons, postoperative bleeding was lower in the albumin group, and the standardized mean difference in bleeding favoring albumin across all trials (-0.24; 95% confidence interval, -0.40 to -0.08) was statistically significant. Bleeding differences between albumin and either high or medium molecular weight HES were similar. In trials of adults, the pooled mean blood loss in the albumin group was 693+/-350 mL compared with 789+/-487 mL in the HES group. The estimated proportion of adult albumin group patients with blood loss of more than 1,000 mL was 19% compared with 33% of adult HES group patients. Conclusions. Postoperative blood loss is significantly lower in cardiopulmonary bypass patients exposed to albumin than HES.