Increased glomerular permeability and pulmonary dysfunction following major surgery: correlation of microalbuminuria and PaO2/FiO2 ratio

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The aim of our trial was to evaluate the ability of microalbuminuria as an indicator of outcome and to investigate its relationship with the postoperative respiratory dysfunction in the initial postoperative period in a high-risk patient group.


In our prospective, observational study patients were consecutively recruited following elective oesophagectomy, total gastrectomy, Whipple-resection of the pancreas and liver resection due to tumour removal. Microalbuminuria (expressed as urine albumin:creatinine ratio, M:Cr) was measured before (tp), and after surgery (t0, t6, t24, t48, t72). Multiple Organ Dysfunction Scores were monitored on ICU admission than daily (t1, t2, t3). For statistical analysis, Wilcoxon's rank-sum test, Mann–Whitney's U-test, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and Spearman's rho test were used as appropriate.


One hundred and forty patients (118 survivors and 22 non-survivors) were recruited. Significantly higher Multiple Organ Dysfunction Scores were observed in non-survivors throughout the study period (P <0.001). Microalbuminuria (Cr) increased significantly (P <0.01) on admission to the ICU (t0) compared with the preoperative levels, but levels returned to normal within 6 h and remained so for the rest of the study. There was a significant difference between survivors and non-survivors at t0 (P <0.01). However the ROC curve indicated that M:Cr is not a reliable descriptor of outcome. Comparison of Cr values with the PaO2/FiO2 ratio showed an inverse relationship on admission, which remained so for t24 and t48.


M:Cr measured on admission to the ICU was significantly higher in non-survivors than in survivors, and also showed an inverse relationship with the PaO2/FiO2 ratio following extended abdominal surgery. However, on admission, M:Cr did not discriminate survivors from non-survivors. Further studies are required to evaluate the prognostic value of this test for postoperative patients with risk of respiratory failure.

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