Prealbumin Is Associated With In-Hospital Mortality in Critically Ill Patients

Dan C. Nichols, Alexander H. Flannery, Barbara L. Magnuson, Aaron M. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Prealbumin (PAB) has been shown to be a useful index of nutrition status in clinically stable patients. In the setting of critical illness, however, PAB is a negative acute phase reactant and may also reflect severity of illness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between PAB and clinical outcomes in critically ill patients. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective, nonrandomized cohort study of adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Baseline PAB and change in PAB were analyzed. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality, and the secondary outcome was hospital length of stay (LOS). Data collected included PAB levels, Charlson Comorbidity Index, LOS, in-hospital mortality, and nutrition intake. Linear and logistic regressions were used to characterize the association between PAB levels and clinical outcomes. Results: Our study included 926 patients. Patients expiring in hospital experienced a greater decrease in PAB over time, −1.3 vs −0.7 mg/dL (odds ratio 0.94 [0.9–0.98] in multivariable regression, P =.002). Baseline PAB was not associated with in-hospital mortality or LOS. Exploratory analyses demonstrated a weak correlation between nutrition and change in PAB. Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that change in PAB is associated with hospital mortality. Nutrition intake weakly correlated with change in PAB. PAB does not appear to be a robust marker of nutrition therapy but may have value as a prognostic indicator in the ICU setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-577
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition


  • critical care outcomes
  • critical illness
  • length of stay
  • mortality
  • nutrition assessment
  • prealbumin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Prealbumin Is Associated With In-Hospital Mortality in Critically Ill Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this