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- Hypothesis: oedema in kwashiorkor is caused by hypoalbuminaemia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Paediatr Int Child Health 2014 Sep 16.:2046905514Y0000000154.
It has been argued that the oedema of kwashiorkor is not caused by hypoalbuminaemia because the oedema disappears with dietary treatment before the plasma albumin concentration rises. Reanalysis of this evidence and a review of the literature demonstrates that this was a mistaken conclusion and that the oedema is linked to hypoalbuminaemia. This misconception has influenced the recommendations for treating children with severe acute malnutrition. There are close pathophysiological parallels between kwashiorkor and Finnish congenital nephrotic syndrome (CNS) pre-nephrectomy; both develop protein-energy malnutrition and hypoalbuminaemia, which predisposes them to intravascular hypovolaemia with consequent sodium and water retention, and makes them highly vulnerable to develop hypovolaemic shock with diarrhoea. In CNS this is successfully treated with intravenous albumin boluses. By contrast, the WHO advise the cautious administration of hypotonic intravenous fluids in kwashiorkor with shock, which has about a 50% mortality. It is time to trial intravenous bolus albumin for the treatment of children with kwashiorkor and shock.
- Implementing WHO feeding guidelines for inpatient management of malnourished children. [Journal Article]
- J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2014 Jul; 24(7):493-7.
To evaluate the efficacy of adopting WHO feeding guidelines on weight gain and case fatality rate in malnourished children.Cross-sectional, observational study.Department of Pediatrics, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, from 2009 to 2010.Patients above 6 months and less than 5 years of age with severe malnutrition were included during the study period, acute complications were treated and nutritional rehabilitation by WHO feeding formulae was done. Demographic details, clinical features, reasons for weight gain and risk factors of mortality were analyzed.A total of 131 children were included. Mean age of children was 22 ± 18 months. There were 78% marasmic, 4% kwashiorkor and marasmic kwashiorkor 18% children. Resolution of edema took 8 ± 4 days, dermatosis cleared in 11 ± 3 days. Mean hospital stay was 10 ± 8 days. Case fatality rate was 13%. Mean weight gain was 5.25 ± 4.57 g/kg/day. Weight gain of > 5 gm/kg/day was associated with hospital stay of more than 7 days, acceptability and palatability of feed by the children and mothers and early clearance of infections.Implementation of WHO feeding guidelines resulted in adequate weight gain of inpatient malnourished children, however, adequate healthcare services are available at the therapeutic feeding centers.
- Missed opportunities in the diagnosis and management of protein energy malnutrition among children under 5 years in Wakiso district, Uganda. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Public Health Epidemiol 2013 Nov 30; 5(11):463-470.
Protein energy malnutrition (PEM) is one of the leading causes of death among children below 5 years in Uganda. It develops after acute childhood illnesses despite children having received treatment from health facilities. This study assessed knowledge and practices of health workers in the diagnosis and management of PEM, which was used to establish missed opportunities to prevent severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in its management. This was a cross sectional descriptive study that used questionnaires and observation of health workers at Health Center IV (HCIV) in Wakiso district, Uganda. The clinical nutrition diagnosis of the children was then obtained. There were 44 health workers that assessed 225 children. Most of the health workers 32 (72.7%) had education in PEM management and over 60% of them knew the forms of PEM, clinical signs of kwashiorkor and marasmus and the factors that predispose to PEM. Health workers did not weigh 56 (24.9%) of the children, 193 (86%) children had no height taken and only 32 (14.2%) had mid upper arm circumference measured. The weight for height of 223 (99.2%) and weight for age of 109 (93%) children was not calculated. Only 38 (16.89%) were examined for edema and 40 (17.78%) for muscle wasting. Health workers diagnosed only 21 (9%) children with malnutrition, while researchers found 94 (31.9%) with malnutrition. Children who missed opportunity to have malnutrition diagnosed at the health facility were 73 (32.9%). The knowledge of health workers on PEM is adequate, but their practice is inadequate. There is missed opportunity to diagnose and manage PEM among children who present with acute illnesses at the health centers, hence missed opportunity to prevent SAM.
- Impaired Cardiovascular Structure and Function in Adult Survivors of Severe Acute Malnutrition. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Hypertension 2014 Jun 30.
Malnutrition below 5 years remains a global health issue. Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) presents in childhood as oedematous (kwashiorkor) or nonoedematous (marasmic) forms, with unknown long-term cardiovascular consequences. We hypothesized that cardiovascular structure and function would be poorer in SAM survivors than unexposed controls. We studied 116 adult SAM survivors, 54 after marasmus, 62 kwashiorkor, and 45 age/sex/body mass index-matched community controls who had standardized anthropometry, blood pressure, echocardiography, and arterial tonometry performed. Left ventricular indices and outflow tract diameter, carotid parameters, and pulse wave velocity were measured, with systemic vascular resistance calculated. All were expressed as SD scores. Mean (SD) age was 28.8±7.8 years (55% men). Adjusting for age, sex, height, and weight, SAM survivors had mean (SE) reductions for left ventricular outflow tract diameter of 0.67 (0.16; P<0.001), stroke volume 0.44 (0.17; P=0.009), cardiac output 0.5 (0.16; P=0.001), and pulse wave velocity 0.32 (0.15; P=0.03) compared with controls but higher diastolic blood pressures (by 4.3; 1.2-7.3 mm Hg; P=0.007). Systemic vascular resistance was higher in marasmus and kwashiorkor survivors (30.2 [1.2] and 30.8 [1.1], respectively) than controls 25.3 (0.8), overall difference 5.5 (95% confidence interval, 2.8-8.4 mm Hg min/L; P<0.0001). No evidence of large vessel or cardiac remodeling was found, except closer relationships between these indices in former marasmic survivors. Other parameters did not differ between SAM survivor groups. We conclude that adult SAM survivors had smaller outflow tracts and cardiac output when compared with controls, yet markedly elevated peripheral resistance. Malnutrition survivors are thus likely to develop excess hypertension in later life, especially when exposed to obesity.
- Dermatitis and Dangerous Diets: A Case of Kwashiorkor. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- JAMA Dermatol 2014 May 7.
The etiology of kwashiorkor remains enigmatic and longitudinal studies examining potential causes of kwashiorkor are scarce. Using historical, longitudinal study data from the rural area of Bwamanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, we investigated the potential causal association between diet and the development of kwashiorkor in 5 657 preschool children followed 3-monthly during 15 months. We compared dietary risk factors for kwashiorkor with those of marasmus. Kwashiorkor was diagnosed as pitting oedema of the ankles; marasmus as abnormal visibility of skeletal structures and palpable wasting of the gluteus muscle. A 24-h recall was administered 3-monthly to record the consumption of the 41 locally most frequent food items. We specified Hanley-Miettinen smooth-in-time risk models containing potential causal factors, including food items, special meals prepared for the child, breastfeeding, disease status, nutritional status, birth rank, age, season and number of meals. Bayesian Information Criteria identified the most plausible causal model of why some children developed kwashiorkor. In a descriptive analysis of the diet at the last dietary assessment prior to development of kwashiorkor, the diet of children who developed kwashiorkor was characterized by low consumption of sweet potatoes, papaya and "other vegetables" [0.0% , 2.3% (95% CI [0.4, 12.1]) and 2.3% (95% CI [0.4, 12.1])] in comparison with children who did not develop kwashiorkor [6.8% (95% CI [6.4, 7.2]), 15.5% (95% CI [15, 16.1]) and 15.1% (95% CI [14.6, 15.7])] or children who developed marasmus [4.5% (95% CI [2.6, 7.5]) 11.8% (95% CI [8.5, 16.0]) and 17.6% (95% CI [13.7, 22.5])]. Sweet potatoes and papayas have high β-carotene content and so may some of "the other vegetables". We found that a risk model containing an age function, length/height-for age Z-score, consumption of sweet potatoes, papaya or other vegetables, duration of this consumption and its interaction term, was the most plausible model. Among children aged 10-42 months, the risk of developing kwashiorkor increased with longer non-consumption of these foods. The analysis was repeated with only children who developed marasmus as the reference series, yielding similar results. Our study supports that β-carotene may play an important role in the protection against kwashiorkor development.
- The effect of topical calcipotriol or zinc on tuberculin skin tests in hospitalised South African children. [Journal Article]
- Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 2014 Apr; 18(4):388-93.
The tuberculin skin test (TST) is used to help diagnose tuberculosis (TB) in acutely ill hospitalised children. OBJECTIVE To investigate the potential augmentative effect of topical calcipotriol (a vitamin D analogue) or zinc on TST induration.Three TSTs were performed among 64 hospitalised children; each site was covered with topical aqueous cream (control), calcipotriol or zinc and assessed 24 and 48 h later by investigators blinded to all topical applications.TSTs were reactive in 15 (23.4%) children, of whom 13 (20.3%) were TST-positive. Topical calcipotriol and zinc induced TST positivity in two children with reactive but negative control TSTs. These treatments, however, did not significantly increase TST positivity rates. In children with reactive TSTs, the median 48 h induration diameter was not significantly different between the control, calcipotriol- or zinc-treated groups, which were respectively 12.0 (25%-75% IQR 5.0 - 18.0), 14.0 (25%-75% IQR 10.0 - 15.0) and 12.0 (25%-75% IQR 8.0 - 15.0) mm. Topical treatments did not induce TST reactivity or TST positivity in children with culture-confirmed TB disease (n = 4), human immunodeficiency virus infection (n= 18) or kwashiorkor (n = 9).Topical calcipotriol or zinc does not induce TST reactivity or significantly increase TST positivity rates in acutely ill hospitalised children. However, further studies are required to assess the effects of topical treatments on TST positivity in severely malnourished children.
- Dermatosis in children with oedematous malnutrition (Kwashiorkor): a review of the literature. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2014 Mar 24.
Children with oedematous malnutrition, known as kwashiorkor, may develop a characteristic skin lesion, named 'Dermatosis of Kwashiorkor' (DoK). Only a few studies have been concerned with this condition, and the reason for the development of DoK remains unexplained. This study review the existing studies concerning DoK, including its clinical manifestations, histopathology, suggested pathophysiology, current treatment and prognosis for children of the age of 6 months to 5 years. Standardized clinical studies are needed to further understand the implications of DoK. Such studies would suffer from the lack of consistency concerning the terminology and scoring of the lesions in DoK. We therefore stress the need for a standardized scoring of the degree of DoK. This would facilitate valid and comparable studies and the development of better treatment for this vulnerable group of patients.
- Dietary supplementation with aromatic amino acids increases protein synthesis in children with severe acute malnutrition. [Journal Article]
- J Nutr 2014 May; 144(5):660-6.
Although 2 earlier studies reported that aromatic amino acid (AAA) supplementation of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) improved whole-body protein anabolism during the early postadmission (maintenance) phase of rehabilitation, it is not known whether this positive effect was maintained during the catch-up growth and recovery phases of treatment. This study aimed to determine whether supplementation with an AAA cocktail (330 mg · kg(-1) · d(-1)) vs. isonitrogenous Ala would improve measures of protein kinetics in 22 children, aged 4-31 mo, during the catch-up growth and recovery phases of treatment for SAM. Protein kinetics were assessed by measuring leucine, phenylalanine, and urea kinetics with the use of standard stable isotope tracer methods in the fed state. Supplementation started at the end of the maintenance period when the children were clinically/metabolically stable and continued up to full nutritional recovery. Three experiments were performed: at the end of maintenance (at ∼13 d postadmission), at mid-catch-up growth (at ∼23 d post- admission when the children had replenished 50% of their weight deficit), and at recovery (at ∼48 d postadmission when they had achieved at least 90% weight for length). Children in the AAA group had significantly faster protein synthesis compared with those in the Ala group at mid-catch-up growth (101 ± 10 vs. 72 ± 7 μmol phenylalanine · kg(-1) · h(-1); P < 0.05) and better protein balance at mid-catch-up growth (49 ± 5 vs. 30 ± 2 μmol phenylalanine · kg(-1) · h(-1); P < 0.05) and at recovery (37 ± 8 vs. 11 ± 3 μmol phenylalanine · kg(-1) · h(-1); P < 0.05). We conclude that dietary supplementation with AAA accelerates net protein synthesis in children during nutritional rehabilitation for SAM.
- Effects of randomized supplementation of methionine or alanine on cysteine and glutathione production during the early phase of treatment of children with edematous malnutrition. [Journal Article]
- Am J Clin Nutr 2014 May; 99(5):1052-8.
We have shown that a low glutathione concentration and synthesis rate in erythrocytes are associated with a shortage of protein-derived cysteine in children with edematous severe acute malnutrition (SAM).We tested the hypothesis that methionine supplementation may increase protein-derived cysteine and upregulate cysteine synthesis, thereby improving glutathione synthesis during the early treatment of edematous SAM.The cysteine flux, its de novo synthesis and release from protein breakdown, and erythrocyte glutathione synthesis rate were measured in 12 children with edematous SAM in the fed state by using stable isotope tracers at 3 clinical phases as follows: 3 ± 1 d (±SE) [clinical phase 1 (CP1)], 8 ± 1 d [clinical phase 2 (CP2)], and 14 ± 2 d (clinical phase 3) after admission. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive equimolar supplements (0.5 mmol ⋅ kg(-1) ⋅ d(-1)) of methionine or alanine (control) immediately after CP1.In the methionine compared with the alanine group, cysteine flux derived from protein breakdown was faster at CP2 than CP1 (P < 0.05), and the change in plasma cysteine concentration from CP1 to CP2 was greater (P < 0.05). However, there was no evidence of a difference in cysteine de novo synthesis and its total flux or erythrocyte glutathione synthesis rate and concentration between groups.Methionine supplementation increased cysteine flux from body protein but had no significant effect on glutathione synthesis rates. Although cysteine is made from methionine, increased dietary cysteine may be necessary to partially fulfill its demand in edematous SAM because glutathione synthesis rates and concentrations were less than previous values shown at full recovery. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00473031.