Malnutrition is a common problem in hemodialysis (HD) patients and one of the most important factors influencing morbidity and mortality. More frequent HD has been shown to improve nutritional status in HD patients.
The London Daily/Nocturnal Hemodialysis Study compared the nutritional status of patients receiving quotidian HD, either short daily HD (n = 11) or long nocturnal HD (n = 12), with that of 22 matched control patients receiving conventional thrice-weekly HD. A number of biochemical parameters indicative of nutritional status were measured, including protein equivalent of total nitrogen appearance (nPNA), serum albumin, serum prealbumin, dietary calcium, serum lipids, and water-soluble vitamin levels.
nPNA tended to increase throughout the study for both quotidian HD groups and remained unchanged in the control group, which had the lowest values (1 to 1.1 g/kg/d). Daily HD patients showed a significant increase in mean serum albumin levels at 3, 12, and 18 months. The nocturnal HD group showed a significant decrease in albumin levels at month 9, and control patients maintained relatively stable albumin levels throughout the study. Serum prealbumin levels averaged 0.04 g/dL for daily HD patients, whereas serum prealbumin levels decreased in nocturnal HD patients during the study period. Half the nocturnal HD patients had vitamin C levels lower than the reference range. Body composition data showed increased arm muscle area and maintenance of 100% to 110% of relative body weight (RBW) after several months of daily HD, whereas patients on nocturnal HD therapy showed a significant decline in RBW. There were no significant differences in lean body mass, percentage of body fat, or body mass index among the 3 study groups.
Increased nPNA, serum albumin levels, and arm muscle area suggest that daily HD patients experienced improved nutritional status.
Neonates and growing individuals have increased nutritional demands as compared with adults. To determine the functional ability of an intestinal graft to allow survival and growth, an otherwise lethal short gut model should be used (resection of both the entire small bowel and the cecum). In this study the authors investigated the survival and growth in young rats (80 to 125 g) with this lethal short gut syndrome (SGS) and either syngeneic or allogeneic segmental small bowel transplantation (SBTx). Additionally they sought to determine the effect of therapeutical doses of cyclosporine (CyA) in young, growing rats. To avoid total parenteral nutrition in rats undergoing SBTx, surgery was carried out in two steps: after segmental SBTx of a 25-cm jejunal graft, SGS was created 2 weeks later. Lewis rats underwent 1: Syngeneic segmental SBTx + SGS (n = 7); 2: Allogeneic segmental SBTx (donor: Lewis Brown Norway F1) + SGS + CyA (15 mg/kg/d for 7 days, then every other day for 21 days) (n = 9); 3: Syngeneic segmental SBTx + SGS + CyA as in group 2 (n = 5); 4: SGS alone (n = 5): 5: small bowel resection alone (n = 5); 6: sham laparotomy twice (n = 5); 7: sham laparotomy twice + CyA as in group 2 (n = 6). Weight, general condition, and nutritional serum variables were followed up regularly for 4 months. Rats with resection of small bowel survived but did not grow. Rats with small bowel resection + cecectomy died within 5 days.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Weight index (WI), triceps skinfold (TSF), serum albumin and delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity reaction (DCH) were measured in 96 hospitalized elderly patients and in 100 age- and sex-matched free-living controls. Using the 10th percentile of data obtained in the controls, WI was subnormal in 35% of the patients. Corresponding findings with regard to TSF, serum albumin and DCH were 32, 50 and 31%, respectively. The findings in the controls were mainly within the range observed in national reference groups. Patients were considered malnourished if they showed at least two variables (of which one was required to be anthropometric) below the cut-off limits used. When these limits were set at the 10th percentile of the recordings in the controls, the occurrence of undernutrition in the patients was 39%. By using the 5th percentile the corresponding figure was 16%. Malnourishment was most pronounced in patients with multiple organ disease and malignancy. It is concluded that low nutritional indices are a common occurrence in elderly subjects admitted to hospital and that undernutrition is related to the nature of the disease rather than age.
The prevalence of protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) was examined in 1206 randomly selected elderly people aged 65 to 80 years living in their own homes. Nutritional assessment was based on weight loss, weight index, triceps skin fold, arm muscle circumference, serum albumin and prealbumin, and delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity (DCH) reaction. The prevalence of PEM was 5 per cent. If people with signs of inflammation were excluded, the prevalence of PEM was 3.5 per cent. When other nutritional indices, used by other authors among hospitalized patients, were applied to our sample prevalence values from 2.6 to 4.1 per cent were obtained. the prevalence was not related to sex or age. DCH increased the sensitivity of the screening method but causes of anergy other than PEM must be taken into account. It is concluded that PEM, in a degree shown to impair the prognosis at hospital, does occur among elderly people at home in an industrialized country.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent to which patients with objective signs of malnutrition had been diagnosed as such by physicians and the diagnosis documented in the medical record. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. SUBJECTS: All non-critically ill patients (n = 121) aged 70 years or older admitted to an Oslo hospital during a 3-week period. METHODS: Compared problem list and other elements of the medical record with observations of height, weight, triceps skinfold, midarm circumference, and arm-muscle circumference made on first weekday in hospital. Serum albumin available on 66 subjects. MAIN RESULTS: Nine patients had weight/height ratios below 60% of normal, 16 patients between 60% and 75%, and 41 patients between 74% and 90% of normal. Of these 66 patients, only 24 were recognized as malnourished on admission, only five received nutritional support, and none was diagnosed as having malnutrition at the time of discharge. CONCLUSIONS: Malnutrition is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The consequences of this are likely to be deleterious to health.
Comment In: J Am Geriatr Soc. 1992 May;40(5):536-71634714
A detailed nutrient assessment was made of 23 male and 24 female patients with Crohn's disease who entered sequentially into an outpatient clinic. Assessment included 48-hour dietary recall, anthropometric measurements, and biochemical and hematological tests appropriate to characterize protein-energy malnutrition. Approximately 40% of patients had energy intakes equal to only two-thirds of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Three men and five women had relative body weights less than 85% of standard, but body weight was not correlated with energy intake. Relative body weight was correlated with arm muscle circumference in both male and female patients and with triceps skinfold and total lymphocyte count in women. Although the mean protein intake was greater than 150% of the RDA, evidence of protein malnutrition included low arm muscle circumference in 14% of the men and 15% of the women, low serum albumin concentration in 13% of the women, and low total lymphocyte count in one-half of the patients. The Crohn's disease activity index was correlated significantly with serum albumin, energy intake, and duration of disease in men and with serum ferritin and hemoglobin concentration in women. Thus, a reduced relative body weight or reduced serum albumin was not uncommon in patients with Crohn's disease but did not necessarily occur in those with reduced intakes of protein and energy. However, a low relative body weight may indicate need for further nutritional assessment.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate and develop a screening method for malnutrition among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). DESIGN: Findings from a screening sheet for malnutrition were compared with results from full nutritional assessment. The screening sheet included 7 questions regarding body mass index, anorexia, loss of weight, and other variables possibly affecting nutritional status. Each answer was assigned a point value, and a total of 4 and 5 points were tested as criterion for malnutrition. Full nutrition assessment included measurements of weight and height (body mass index), serum albumin and prealbumin, total lymphocyte count, triceps skinfold thickness, mid-arm muscle circumference or area, and information on unintentional weight loss. Malnutrition was defined by 3 or more values below reference values. SUBJECTS: Randomly selected patients (n = 34) with a clinical diagnosis of COPD, 15% of eligible patients admitted to the Department of Lung Medicine at National University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland, during the time of the study. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values were calculated to evaluate the screening sheet. Each of the 7 parameters used in a full nutrition assessment was similarly evaluated as an indicator to predict malnutrition. RESULTS: Full nutrition assessment identified 13 of 34 patients (38%) as malnourished. Using 4 points as a criterion for malnutrition, the screening sheet to be used for patients with COPD resulted in sensitivity of 0.69 and specificity of 0.90. CONCLUSION: The results confirm the frequent finding of malnutrition among patients with COPD and show that a simple screening sheet can be used to identify which patients need further nutrition assessment and treatment.