Renal impairment increases mortality among patients with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), despite administration of non-nephrotoxic antibiotics. Albumin infusion has been reported to reduce renal impairment and mortality in patients with SBP. We performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to quantify the effect of albumin infusion on renal impairment and mortality in patients with SBP. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov for RCTs that evaluated albumin treatment for patients with SBP; we also performed searches by additional methods. Four trials of 288 total patients were included in our analysis. Data were quantitatively combined under a fixed-effects model. We found no evidence of statistically significant heterogeneity or publication bias among the studies analyzed. Albumin was compared with no albumin in 3 trials and with artificial colloid in 1 trial. All patients received antibiotics. The incidence of renal impairment in control groups was 44 of 144 (30.6%), compared with 12 of 144 (8.3%) in groups given albumin. The pooled odds ratio for a reduction in renal impairment after albumin infusion was 0.21 (95% confidence interval, 0.11–0.42). Odds ratios for renal impairment after albumin therapy ranged from 0.19–0.30 among the individual studies. Mortality among controls was 51 of 144 (35.4%), compared with 23 of 144 (16.0%) among patients who received albumin. The pooled odds ratio for decreased mortality after infusion of albumin was 0.34 (95% confidence interval, 0.19–0.60). Odds ratios for mortality in individual RCTs ranged from 0.16–0.55. In a meta-analysis of 4 RCTs (288 patients), albumin infusion prevented renal impairment and reduced mortality among patients with SBP.
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