Preoperative Serum Albumin as Predictor of Outcomes After Thyroidectomy

Bao Yue Sciscent, Hanel Watkins Eberly, F. Jeffrey Lorenz, Nguyen Truong, David Goldenberg, Neerav Goyal

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Objective: Albumin is considered to be a surrogate marker for inflammation and nutritional status. Levels usually decrease after surgery but little is known about the predictive value of preoperative albumin levels in patients undergoing thyroidectomy. This study aimed to investigate the 30-day incidence of postoperative outcomes in thyroidectomy patients with and without preoperative hypoalbuminemia. Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: TriNetX Database. Methods: TriNetX, a federated deidentified database, was retrospectively queried to identify patients who underwent thyroidectomy. Postoperative outcomes within 30 days of thyroidectomy, based on International Classification of Disease, 10th Revision and Current Procedural Terminology codes, in patients with preoperative hypoalbuminemia (≤3.4 g/dL) (cohort 1) were analyzed and compared to patients without hypoalbuminemia (cohort 2). Results: After propensity score matching, 2398 patients were identified in each cohort. Hypoalbuminemia patients were more likely to have postoperative pneumonia (odds ratio, OR: 3.472, 95% confidence interval, CI [2.016-5.978]), acute renal failure (OR: 3.872, 95% CI [2.412-6.217]), venous thromboembolism (OR: 1.766, 95% CI [1.016-2.819]), and surgical site infection (OR: 2.353, 95% CI [1.282-4.32]). Rates of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury were comparable between cohorts. Conclusion: Patients undergoing thyroidectomy with preoperative hypoalbuminemia have a higher prevalence of postoperative complications compared to patients without preoperative hypoalbuminemia. While not routinely assessed, preoperative evaluation of serum albumin levels may help guide expectations and optimal management of thyroidectomy patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere114
JournalOTO Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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