Malnutrition in elective shoulder arthroplasty: a multi-institutional retrospective study of preoperative albumin and adverse outcomes.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

BACKGROUND: Malnutrition is associated with poor postoperative outcomes after knee, hip, and spine surgery. However, whether albumin labs should be part of the routine preoperative workup for shoulder arthroplasty remains understudied. This study investigated the role of preoperative albumin levels in predicting common postoperative adverse outcomes in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty. METHODS: All shoulder arthroplasty cases performed at 2 tertiary referral centers between July 2013 and May 2019 (institution 1) and between June 2007 and Feb 2020 (institution 2) were reviewed. A total of 421 primary and 71 revision elective shoulder arthroplasty cases had preoperative albumin levels recorded. Common demographic variables and relevant Elixhauser comorbidities were pulled. Outcomes gathered included extended (>3 days) postoperative inpatient length of stay (eLOS), 90-day readmission, and discharge to rehab or skilled nursing facility (SNF). RESULTS: The prevalence of malnutrition (albumin <3.5 g/dL) was higher in the revision group compared with the primary group (36.6% vs. 19.5%, P = .001). Reverse shoulder arthroplasty (P = .013) and increasing American Society of Anesthesiologists score (P = .016) were identified as independent risk factors for malnutrition in the primary group. In the revision group, liver disease was associated with malnutrition (P = .046). Malnourished primary shoulder arthroplasty patients had an increased incidence of eLOS (26.8% vs. 13.6%, P = .003) and discharge to rehab/SNF (18.3% vs. 10.3%, P = .045). On univariable analysis, low albumin had an odds ratio (OR) of 2.34 for eLOS (P = .004), which retained significance in a multivariable model including age, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, sex, and body mass index (OR 2.11, P = .03). On univariable analysis, low albumin had an OR of 1.94 for discharge to SNF/rehab (P = .048), but this did not reach significance in the multivariable model. Among revisions, malnourished patients had an increased incidence of eLOS (30.8% vs. 6.7%, P = .014) and discharge to rehab/SNF (26.9% vs. 4.4%, P = .010). In both the primary and revision groups, there was no difference in 90-day readmission rate between patients with low or normal albumin. CONCLUSION: Malnutrition is more prevalent among revision shoulder arthroplasty patients compared with those undergoing a primary procedure. Primary shoulder arthroplasty patients with low preoperative albumin levels have an increased risk of eLOS and may have an increased need for postacute care. Low albumin was not associated with a risk of 90-day readmissions. Albumin level merits further investigation in large, prospective cohorts to clearly define its role in preoperative risk stratification.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Flamant, EM; Goltz, DE; Burnett, RA; Wickman, JR; Belay, ES; Saltzman, EB; Nicholson, GP; Garrigues, GE; Lassiter, T; Anakwenze, OA; Klifto, CS

Published Date

  • November 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2491 - 2497

PubMed ID

  • 33819566

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-6500

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jse.2021.03.143


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States