Fu Zhang, Xiaonan Liu, Zhiwen Tan, Jianjun Li, Dianwa Fu, LiXin Zhu

July 2020, Volume 29, Issue 7, pp 1483 - 1489 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06306-w

First Online: 11 February 2020


To determine the association between postoperative hypoalbuminemia and the development of surgical site infection (SSI) and evaluate whether the supplement of exogenous human serum albumin (HSA) in patients following spinal surgery would decrease the rate of postoperative SSI.


We performed a retrospective review of all patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion surgery in our institution between January 2014 and December 2018. Patients with postoperative SSI were identified. We reviewed the demographic and clinical records of the patients and performed multiple logistic regression models to clarify the relevance between postoperative hypoalbuminemia, the supplement of HSA and SSI. Statistical adjustment for the potential confounders was also performed to exclude possible variation.


Twenty-four of 602 patients developed SSI after lumbar spinal fusion surgery. No statistical significance was found between postoperative hypoalbuminemia and SSI rate (OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.22–2.48; P = 0.6199). However, the supplement of exogenous HSA was significantly associated with increased postoperative SSI rate (OR 1.21; 95% CI 1.05–1.41; P = 0.0094). Interestingly, stratified analyses showed supplement of HSA in patients without postoperative hypoalbuminemia increased the risk of SSI (OR 2.55; 95% CI 1.01–6.45; P = 0.0475), compared with patients with postoperative hypoalbuminemia (OR 1.17; 95% CI 1.00–1.36; P = 0.0434).


The present study suggests that postoperative hypoalbuminemia is not associated with the development of SSI after spinal surgery. However, the supplement of HSA following spinal surgery will increase the rate of SSI.

Graphic abstract

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