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Hypoalbuminaemia predicts outcome in adult patients with congenital heart disease
  1. Aleksander Kempny1,2,3,4,
  2. Gerhard-Paul Diller1,2,3,4,
  3. Rafael Alonso-Gonzalez1,2,3,
  4. Anselm Uebing1,2,3,
  5. Isma Rafiq1,2,
  6. Wei Li1,2,3,
  7. Lorna Swan1,2,3,
  8. James Hooper1,2,3,
  9. Jackie Donovan1,2,3,
  10. Stephen J Wort1,2,3,
  11. Michael A Gatzoulis1,2,3,
  12. Konstantinos Dimopoulos1,2,3
  1. 1Adult Congenital Heart Centre and National Centre for Pulmonary Hypertension, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, Royal Brompton Hospital and National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
  3. 3National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Adult Congenital and Valvular Heart Disease Center, University Hospital of Münster, Muenster, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aleksander Kempny, Adult Congenital Heart Centre, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, Sydney Street, SW3 6NP London, UK; a.kempny{at}


Background In patients with acquired heart failure, hypoalbuminaemia is associated with increased risk of death. The prevalence of hypoproteinaemia and hypoalbuminaemia and their relation to outcome in adult patients with congenital heart disease (ACHD) remains, however, unknown.

Methods Data on patients with ACHD who underwent blood testing in our centre within the last 14 years were collected. The relation between laboratory, clinical or demographic parameters at baseline and mortality was assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis.

Results A total of 2886 patients with ACHD were included. Mean age was 33.3 years (23.6–44.7) and 50.1% patients were men. Median plasma albumin concentration was 41.0 g/L (38.0–44.0), whereas hypoalbuminaemia (<35 g/L) was present in 13.9% of patients. The prevalence of hypoalbuminaemia was significantly higher in patients with great complexity ACHD (18.2%) compared with patients with moderate (11.3%) or simple ACHD lesions (12.1%, p<0.001). During a median follow-up of 5.7 years (3.3–9.6), 327 (11.3%) patients died. On univariable Cox regression analysis, hypoalbuminaemia was a strong predictor of outcome (HR 3.37, 95% CI 2.67 to 4.25, p<0.0001). On multivariable Cox regression, after adjusting for age, sodium and creatinine concentration, liver dysfunction, functional class and disease complexity, hypoalbuminaemia remained a significant predictor of death.

Conclusions Hypoalbuminaemia is common in patients with ACHD and is associated with a threefold increased risk of risk of death. Hypoalbuminaemia, therefore, should be included in risk-stratification algorithms as it may assist management decisions and timing of interventions in the growing ACHD population.

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