Effect of 5% albumin solution on sodium balance and blood volume after subarachnoid hemorrhage

Stephan A. Mayer, Robert A. Solomon, Matthew E. Fink, Laura Lennihan, Leonard Stern, Avis Beckford, Carole E. Thomas, Louise M. Klebanoff

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46 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) predisposes patients to excessive natriuresis and volume contraction. We studied the effects of postoperative administration of 5% albumin solution on sodium balance and blood volume after SAH. We also sought to identify physiological variables that influence renal sodium excretion after SAH. METHODS: Forty-three patients with acute SAH were randomly assigned to receive hypervolemia or normovolemia treatment for a period of 7 days after aneurysm clipping. In addition to a base line infusion of normal saline solution (80 ml/hr), 250 ml of 5% albumin solution was administered every 2 hours for central venous pressure (CVP) values of ≤8 mm Hg (hypervolemia group, n = 19) or ≤5 mm Hg (normovolemia group, n = 24). RESULTS: Both groups demonstrated relative volume expansion in base line measurements. The hypervolemia group received significantly more total fluid, sodium, and 5% albumin solution than did the normovolemia group and had higher CVP values and serum albumin levels (all P < 0.02). Cumulative sodium balance was even in the hypervolemia group and persistently negative in the normovolemia group, because of sodium losses that occurred on Postoperative Days 2 and 3 (P = 0.03). In a multiple- regression analysis of all patients, 24-hour sodium balance correlated negatively with glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and positively with serum albumin levels, after correction for sodium intake (P < 0.0001). Hypervolemia therapy seemed to paradoxically lower GFR (P = 0.10) and had no effect on blood volume, which declined by 10% in both groups. Pulmonary edema requiring diuresis occurred in only one patient in the hypervolemia group. CONCLUSION: Supplemental 5% albumin solution given to maintain CVP values of >8 mm Hg prevented sodium and fluid losses but did not have an impact on blood volume in our patients, who were hypervolemic in base line measurements. The natriuresis that occurs after SAH may be mediated in part by elevations of GFR. In addition to acting as a colloid volume expander, 5% albumin solution lowers the GFR and promotes renal sodium retention after SAH. These properties may limit the amount of total fluid required to maintain a given CVP value and hence may minimize the frequency of pulmonary edema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-768
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Albumin
  • Blood volume
  • Cardiac output
  • Central venous pressure
  • Cerebral salt wasting
  • Colloid
  • Glomerular filtration rate
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Vasospasm


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