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Human serum albumin in cardiovascular diseases

  • Stephane Arques
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Service de Cardiologie, Centre Hospitalier Edmond Garcin, Avenue des Soeurs Gastine, 13400 Aubagne, France.
    Affiliations
    Service de Cardiologie, Centre hospitalier Edmond Garcin, Aubagne, France
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Published:April 19, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2018.04.014

      Highlights

      • Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide.
      • Serum albumin has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticoagulant and antiplatelet aggregation activity.
      • Low serum albumin levels are independently linked to the emergence of several cardiovascular diseases.
      • Hypoalbuminemia is a strong, independent prognosticator in many cardiovascular diseases.
      • Convincing evidence is now that low serum albumin plays as a potentially modifiable risk factor in many cardiovascular diseases.

      Abstract

      Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Endothelial dysfunction, inflammation and oxidative stress are at the forefront in the onset and development of atherosclerosis and many cardiovascular diseases. Epidemiological evidence is that low serum albumin levels are linked to incident ischemic heart disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke and venous thromboembolism, independent of risk factors, body mass index and inflammation. Hypoalbuminemia has also emerged as an independent prognosticator in many cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, congenital heart disease, infective endocarditis and stroke, even after adjusting for usual causal factors and prognostic markers. Given physiological properties of serum albumin that include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticoagulant and antiplatelet aggregation activity as well as colloid osmotic effect, hypoalbuminemia could act as an unrecognized modifiable risk factor. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the physiological properties of serum albumin, as well as prevalence, causes, prognostic value and potential contribution to the disease emergence and progression of hypoalbuminemia, and the resulting clinical implications.

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