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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Nutrition

The Benefits of Nutrition Therapy in the Liver Transplant Patient

Cancer:
Nutrition is an integral part of healing and maintenance of health. Poor nutritional status in surgical patients leads to less than optimal outcomes. Nutrition intervention is necessary for a malnourished patient's recovery, and it is cost-effective. This is especially true for liver transplant patients who, prior to transplantation, commonly suffer from malnutrition and are at high risk for nutritionally-mediated complications. Loss of body cell mass was associated with a significantly increased posttransplant mortality in a study of 123 patients with cirrhosis. In a separate study, Pikul et al retrospectively evaluated the effect of malnutrition on the postoperative morbidity and mortality in 68 liver transplant recipients; malnutrition was present in 79% of the subjects. Moderate-to-severe malnutrition was associated with prolonged ventilatory support, increased incidence of tracheostomy, and longer intensive care unit and hospital stays. A trend toward increased mortality among malnourished patients also existed (p=0.13).

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