Background. Albumin in the priming solution precoats the surface of the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit, supposedly causing delayed adsorption of fibrinogen: and reduced activation and adhesion of platelets. This action may result in lower transoxygenator resistance. Because our institution uses a colloidal prime solution (Gelofusine), questions were raised about the value of albumin in the prime solution. We decided to focus on the clinical effects of transoxygenator resistance. Methods. Sixty adults undergoing elective cardiac operations were randomly divided into three groups: a group with 20-g albumin (n = 20), a group with 2-g albumin (n = 20), and a group with no albumin (n = 20) in the 1,600-mL colloidal prime. Patients older than 75 years and patients with a preoperative serum albumin level of 30 g/L or less were excluded. The transoxygenator resistance was measured throughout cardiopulmonary bypass. β-Thromboglobulin levels were used to study contact activation of platelets. Measures of prothrombin F1,2 fragments were used as a marker of thrombin generation. Body surface area, age, preoperative albumin, hematocrit, hemoglobin, fibrinogen, platelet count, and colloid osmotic pressure levels were compared between groups. Results. Base line characteristics and chosen control measurements were similar for all three populations. When comparing the observed transoxygenator resistance among the three different groups, no significant differences were noted. Prothrombin F1.2 fragments remained low for all the groups without significant differences. In the no-albumin group the level of β-thromboglobulin appeared to be higher, but the difference was not statistically significant. Conclusions. Addition of albumin to prime solution in a cardiopulmonary bypass circuit that already contains colloids does not affect the transoxygenator resistance of the COBE Duo flat sheet oxygenator and does not affect prothrombin F1.2 and β-thromboglobulin levels. Therefore additional costs for the albumin are not justified. Measurement of transoxygenator resistance is a reliable, simple method to determine the effects of a prime solution on the oxygenator surface in vivo.,
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Boks, R.H, van Herwerden, L.A, Takkenberg, J.J.M, van Oeveren, W, Gu, Y.J, Wijers, M.J, & Bogers, A.J.J.C. (2001). Is the use of albumin in colloid prime solution of cardiopulmonary bypass circuit justified?. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 72(3), 850–853. doi:10.1016/S0003-4975(01)02816-8