Small volume resuscitation with 20% albumin in intensive care: physiological effects: The SWIPE randomised clinical trial

Johan Mårtensson, Shailesh Bihari, Jonathan Bannard-Smith, Neil J. Glassford, Patryck Lloyd-Donald, Luca Cioccari, Nora Luethi, Aiko Tanaka, Marco Crisman, Nicolas Rey de Castro, Marcus Ottochian, Agnes Huang, Maria Cronhjort, Andrew D. Bersten, Shivesh Prakash, Michael Bailey, Glenn M. Eastwood, Rinaldo Bellomo

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Purpose: We set out to assess the resuscitation fluid requirements and physiological and clinical responses of intensive care unit (ICU) patients resuscitated with 20% albumin versus 4–5% albumin. Methods: We performed a randomised controlled trial in 321 adult patients requiring fluid resuscitation within 48 h of admission to three ICUs in Australia and the UK. Results: The cumulative volume of resuscitation fluid at 48 h (primary outcome) was lower in the 20% albumin group than in the 4–5% albumin group [median difference − 600 ml, 95% confidence interval (CI) − 800 to − 400; P < 0.001]. The 20% albumin group had lower cumulative fluid balance at 48 h (mean difference − 576 ml, 95% CI − 1033 to − 119; P = 0.01). Peak albumin levels were higher but sodium and chloride levels lower in the 20% albumin group. Median (interquartile range) duration of mechanical ventilation was 12.0 h (7.6, 33.1) in the 20% albumin group and 15.3 h (7.7, 58.1) in the 4–5% albumin group (P = 0.13); the proportion of patients commenced on renal replacement therapy after randomization was 3.3% and 4.2% (P = 0.67), respectively, and the proportion discharged alive from ICU was 97.4% and 91.1% (P = 0.02). Conclusions: Resuscitation with 20% albumin decreased resuscitation fluid requirements, minimized positive early fluid balance and was not associated with any evidence of harm compared with 4–5% albumin. These findings support the safety of further exploration of resuscitation with 20% albumin in larger randomised trials. Trial registration: Identifier ACTRN12615000349549.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1797-1806
Number of pages10
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Albumin
  • Critical care
  • Fluid therapy
  • Resuscitation

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