Capillary permeability increases after inflammation with consequent leak of fluid, electrolytes, and proteins. The albumin molecule size being smaller (69 kDa) than the globulin molecule (90-156 kDa) will leak relatively at an early stage of the disease (with moderate increase in capillary pore size) than globulin leading to albumin/globulin reversal. In cases with severe permeability changes with rapid progression to larger pore size with simultaneous leak of both albumin and globulin, albumin/globulin reversal will not occur. In this study estimation the serum protein and albumin/globulin (A/G) ratio at frequent intervals was done to grade the severity of the condition of burn patients by assessing the severity of capillary leak.A total of 61 admitted patients (from March 2002 to December 2004) based on the protein values were divided into 3 groups (group 1: 6-8 g/dL, group 2: 5.1-5.9 g/dL, group 3: ≤5.0 g/dL), and all the patients who showed change in their protein levels during the study were shifted to appropriate group and were classified as group shifters. The mean survival time and mortality of various groups were compared, and A/G ratio of all the expired cases was analyzed.Group 3 patients showed higher mortality (95%) as compared to that in other groups (group 1 and 2: 0% each and group shifters: 30.2%). Median survival time of group 3 was significantly low as compared to that of group 1 (P < 0.0026), group 2 (P < 0.0006), and group shifters (P < 0.0000). In group shifters the mean time (days) required for shifting from one group to other just before death or discharge in survivors was significantly higher than that in expired cases. Of 26 cases expired during the study, initial A/G ratio at the time of first assigning the group was not reversed in 22 cases (84.6%).The study concluded that the severity (indicated by lower serum protein values) and speed (judged by A/G ratio changes and median survival time analysis) of capillary permeability changes were associated with high mortality, and therefore, it is possible to grade the severity of the condition in burn patients.
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