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Polito C., Martin G. S.
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, Emory University School of Medicine, Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, GE, USA
Fluid resuscitation is one of the most frequent and necessary practices in clinical medicine and is an integral part of the initial stabilization of critically ill, hypovolemic patients. Longstanding debate and conflicting evidence surround the use of both colloid and crystalloid fluid resuscitation in these patients. The basis of this debate is heavily rooted in the physiological understanding of Starling’s forces. In this review, we aim to highlight the ongoing debate of albumin versus crystalloid resuscitation both broadly and as it relates to lung function, and will discuss the current state-of-the-art, starting from an historic perspective and progressing through a review of both physiologic and clinical evidence. Despite the biologic and physiologic plausibility of therapeutic benefit, the current evidence base does not support the routine use of albumin administration to improve patient survival or prevent respiratory dysfunction.