Buzby et al developed an outcome index for identifying a malnourished surgical patient at risk for complications following surgery. This can help identify a patient who may benefit from more aggressive management. The authors are from the VA Medical Centers in Philadelphia and San Antomio, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and Loyola University in Chicago.



(1) serum albumin in g/dL

(2) present weight in kilograms

(3) usual weight in kilograms


outcome index =

= (0.363 * (serum albumin in g/dL)) + (1.27 * (present weight) / (usual weight))) + 0.119



• The data on albumin in Table 6 is in g/L but the above equation only gives an appropriate result if units are g/dL.

• The equation uses "percent usual body weight". The decimal fraction is used in the implementation since this gives reasonable values.



• An outcome index < 2.71 was considered abnormal.

Outcome Index

Complication Rate

Mortality Rate

< 2.71



>= 2.71




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