Hypoalbuminemia Treatment & Management

Updated: Sep 13, 2017
  • Author: Ruben Peralta, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, MCCM  more...
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Treatment

Medical Care

Treatment should focus on the underlying cause of hypoalbuminemia. See the Medication section.

To help optimize fluid resuscitation with colloids in patients who are critically ill, volume status may be monitored with a central venous, pulmonary artery catheter or other minimal invasive techniques (see the article Distributive Shock).

In patients who are critically ill, low calcium levels can be simply due to hypoalbuminemia, which has no clinical significance because the active fraction (ionized) is not affected. However, to prevent missing a second hypocalcemic disorder, measure the ionized calcium level whenever the albumin level is low.

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Surgical Care

Surgery is considered only when indicated for the underlying cause.

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Consultations

Depending on the clinical situation, multiple consultations may be necessary.

  • Gastroenterologist
  • Intensivist
  • Nephrologist
  • Surgeon
  • Endocrinologist
  • Registered dietitian
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Diet

Support the underlying cause with adequate nutrition (sufficient high biological value protein and energy intake for anabolism).

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Activity

Recommendations depend on the severity of the underlying disease.

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Long-Term Monitoring

The significance of hypoalbuminemia appears to be its reflection of the severity of the underlying disease process. Therefore, follow-up care, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, is dictated by those processes.

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