Diagnostic performance of initial serum albumin level for predicting in-hospital mortality among necrotizing fasciitis patients

Chia Peng Chang, Wen Chih Fann, Shu Ruei Wu, Chun Nan Lin, I. Chuan Chen, Cheng Ting Hsiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Hypoalbuminemia is known to be associated with adverse outcomes in critical illness. In this study, we attempted to identify whether hypoalbuminemia on emergency department (ED) arrival is a reliable predictor for in-hospital mortality in necrotizing fasciitis (NF). patients. Method: A retrospective cohort study of hospitalized adult patients with NF was conducted in a tertiary teaching hospital in Taiwan between March 2010 and March 2018. Blood samples were collected in the ED upon arrival, and serum albumin levels were determined. We evaluated the predictive value of serum albumin level at ED presentation for in-hospital mortality. All collected data were statistically analyzed. Result: Of the 707 NF patients, 40 (5.66%) died in the hospital. The mean serum albumin level was 3.1 ± 0.9 g/dL and serum albumin levels were significantly lower in the non-survivor group than in the survivor group (2.8 ± 0.7 g/dL vs. 3.5 ± 0.8 g/dL). In the multivariable logistic regression model, albumin was significantly associated with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio (OR) 0.92, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88–0.96, p < 0.001). The area under-the-receiver-operating-characteristic curve (AUC) for in-hospital survival was 0.77 (95% CI 0.72– 0.82) and corresponding sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and positive and negative likelihood ratio were 66%, 74%, 33%, 88%, 2.25, and 0.48, respectively. High sensitivity (96%) for survival was shown at albumin level of 4.0 g/dL and high specificity (91%) for mortality was shown at a level of 2.5 g/dL. Conclusion: Initial serum albumin levels strongly predicted in-hospital mortality among patients with necrotizing fasciitis. NF patients with hypoalbuminemia on ED arrival should be closely monitored for signs of deterioration and early and aggressive intervention should be considered to prevent mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number435
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 10 11 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Albumin
  • Mortality
  • Necrotizing fasciitis


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