- 1Department of Pharmacy Practice & Science, College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.
What is known and objective: The purpose of this paper was to discuss the limitations of the studies serving as the evidence for recommendations in clinical practice guidelines concerning albumin use for cirrhosis-related complications, review relevant studies published since the guidelines and suggest directions for future investigations.
Comment: There are no recent comprehensive clinical practice guidelines concerning albumin. Instead, more recent albumin guidelines reflect areas of specialty practice such as those by American and European associations for the study of the liver and liver disease. Studies published since the guidelines are useful for helping to define the most appropriate indications for albumin with respect to cirrhosis-related complications, as well as directions for future research.
What is new and conclusion: Albumin has a long history of attempts to define appropriate uses by meta-analysis, but given the high cost and episodic shortages of albumin, there is a need for adequately powered randomized controlled trials using current state-of-the-art care evaluating the use of albumin to prevent or treat cirrhosis-related complications.